World-Renowned Design Team Chose for New “Cheech Marin Center,” a Museum dedicated to Chicano, Art, Culture and Industry

Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry
Page & Turnbull

Riverside, CA – The City of Riverside and Riverside Art Museum have selected a team led by acclaimed architecture firm Page & Turnbull, and including the innovative design firm wHY, to transform the Riverside Main Library into the nation’s preeminent Center of Chicano Art, Culture and Industry. Other members of the winning team for the planned Cheech Marin Center include Structural Focus, Design West, Searock & Stafford, and Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design.

Named after the stand-up comedian, actor and art collector Cheech Marin, the new cultural center will occupy a centrally located, 61,420-square-foot building originally opened in 1964. The design by Page & Turnbull in partnership with wHY will position it as “the one place worldwide that everybody can go to for all things Chicano art … positioning Riverside as the next great ‘art town,’” remarked Marin in a statement.

“The incredible promise of the Cheech Marin Center is reflected in the extremely high quality of architects and consultants who expressed great interest in leading this transformation,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “Riverside is poised to take a huge step forward on this very important project.”

Most recently, the two firms have worked together on the Asian Art Museum’s renovation and expansion in San Francisco. The Cheech Marin Center will be their second collaboration on creating cultural centers that combine historic architecture with contemporary space for the arts. The duo was selected over 11 other highly qualified teams.

Quote from John D. Lesak, Principal at Page & Turnbull: “This project is the perfect convergence of place, space, program and need. We are excited to help create this major cultural experience for Riverside and the diverse communities of Southern California. Reimagining the Main Library is a fabulous opportunity for celebrating Chicano art and exploring its influence in shaping American culture as a whole. Architecture and design are central to engaging residents and visitors, and a core goal for ’The Cheech’ is helping the Riverside Art Museum in its mission of bringing people together through the arts.”

Quote from Kulapat Yantrasast, Founding Principal and Creative Director at wHY: “We are honored to work with Cheech, the Riverside Art Museum, and the people of Riverside to create a place that elevates inquiry, dialog, and cultural identity in Southern California and beyond. The Main Library has shaped and served this community for more than five decades. Now, Cheech Marin’s singular collection of Chicano Art will enable the building to live on as a welcoming center of cultural combustion and inquiry for generations to come.”

Page & Turnbull, the award-winning architecture, planning and preservation firm established in 1973, is noted for its work bringing new life to historic buildings and places. Notable cultural projects by Page & Turnbull include the Walt Disney Family Museum, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Antelope Valley Indian Museum in Lancaster, Calif., and many more. In selecting the firm for this project, the Riverside Art Museum lauded Page & Turnbull as “a world-renowned architectural firm that has worked on cutting-edge projects all over California.”

wHY, an interdisciplinary design practice recognized for their innovative designs across scales—from exhibitions and houses to museums and landscapes—brings a fresh approach to creating spaces for the arts. Upon completing the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles this May, the firm’s founder, Kulapat Yantrasast, was profiled in the Los Angeles Times for “bringing a bold openness to museum design.” The firm also recently completed the new ICA LA in the burgeoning LA Arts District.

“We are very pleased with this selection,” says Lucile Arntzen, RAM Board President. “RAM’s mission is about engaging the residents of our diverse communities in joyfully authentic, relevant, and dynamic, participatory cultural experiences, and we believe that this amazing team will deliver a ‘reborn facility’ that brings people together through the arts.”

Page & Turnbull, in partnership with wHY, understands that art centers need to inspire wonder and be a space of production as well as presentation, RAM representatives said. The firm believes architecture and design play a pivotal role in making visitors feel welcome, while empowering them to explore and create, and changing their perceptions from “museum as temple to museum as cultural playground.”

“Page & Turnbull’s and wHY’s approach to the renovation mirrors many of the conversations about visitor experience and engagement we’ve been having at RAM,” says Todd Wingate, RAM Curator of Exhibitions and Collections. “We’re really confident that their understanding of our goals will fulfill the vision RAM, the City, and Cheech share about the Center.”


About Riverside Art Museum

The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) integrates art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community by providing high quality exhibits and art education programs that instill a lifelong love of the arts. RAM relies on the generosity of members and donors to support its exhibitions, education programs, and special events. A 60-plus-year-old, non-profit cultural arts institution housed in a National Historic 1929 building designed by Hearst Castle and AIA Gold Medal-winning architect Julia Morgan, the museum welcomes over 50,000 visitors a year. For information about the proposed Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry of the Riverside Art Museum, visit

About Page & Turnbull

Page & Turnbull is an architecture and planning firm that transforms the built environment through design, research and technology. Located in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento, the firm comprises three Studios: Architecture, Cultural Resources Planning & Research, and Preservation Technology. Collectively, Page & Turnbull’s staff includes licensed architects, designers, historians, planners and conservators with a mission to balance historic character with adaptive reuse, objective historic evaluation with community involvement, and complex design solutions with technical understanding of historic materials and their conservation.

About wHY

wHY is an internationally recognized design practice structured as an ecology of disciplines with offices in Los Angeles and New York City. Founded by Kulapat Yantrasast in 2004, the firm has received numerous design award for its diverse projects including museums, exhibitions, houses and schools. Most recently, wHY won the Ross Pavilion & Gardens international design competition, representing the firm’s first park project and first project in Europe. Current projects include the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, 2nd & Vignes Mixed-Use in the LA Arts District, R & Company in New York City, and Paristown Pointe in Louisville, among others.

For press inquiries about the Cheech Marin Center and Page & Turnbull, please contact Adam Sullivan at or (646) 838-1033.
For press inquiries about wHY please contact John Patrick at, 646 709-5510.