In this growing Art Center, two new FISHER ARCHitecture designed buildings replace obsolete galleries. The complex had lost sight of its original architectural intention as it had expanded. The time had come for the Center to fund construction of an expanded campus.
The new buildings spring from an existing studio and classroom (located at the top of the first sketch) creating a comfortable campus-like exterior courtyard environment. The court is bathed in direct light from morning till evening because the building volumes are stacked higher to the North where they will not deflect the sunshine. Oriented parallel to the direction of the slope, the new architecture occupies the hilly site naturally, like canyon surfers.
The structure of the new buildings sets directly on the walls and columns of the proposed underground parking below. The four new galleries are expressed as independent volumes so their reduced scale will relate to the massing of nearby residences. Yet all four are rectangular, clad with wood siding, and roofed with a single metal-paneled plane. Indoors, the galleries are open and filled with indirect light. Exposed wood posts and beams rise from the polished concrete floors. Two oversized windows – one elevated, the other earthbound – are the eyes of the scheme, opening the project to the street, allowing in north light, and affording striking views down the canyon.
This was an architectural competition. Our project finished in fourth place out of more than one thousand entries.