Photos: The new Orange County Museum of Art is opening its doors. Here’s a sneak peek

A skylight above the museum's atrium.

A skylight above the museum’s atrium illuminates “sky bridges” that connect galleries and other spaces on multiple levels of the building.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Costa Mesa has a new neighbor — the Orange County Museum of Art, which is unveiling its new building Oct. 8 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

The $94 million building designed by Morphosis Architects under direction of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne has been in the works for more than a decade. It features a grand external staircase modeled on the steps of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which will also serve as a seating area in the amphitheater for performances. On the patio is a large-scale site-specific sculpture by Sanford Biggers, more than 15,000 square meters of green space and almost double the gallery space to show art.

That’s a good thing, because the museum opens with five exhibitions including an overview of the work of 81-year-old New York sculptor Fred Eversley; a showcase of “13 seminal women artists” from the OCMA collection, paying tribute to the 13 founding women of the museum – the institution was founded in 1962 as the Balboa Pavilion Gallery; and a revival of the museum’s long-running California Biennale.

But first, OCMA needs to finish construction. The Times was given an exclusive photo tour of the premises as the museum put the finishing touches on the building just weeks before it opened. Photos: The new Orange County Museum of Art is opening its doors. Here’s a sneak peek

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