Size: 9240 Square Feet
Year Complete: 2002
Type: New Construction
This project was co-designed in collaboration with Jim Baker, FAIA at The Forge Company in London, UK. Architect of Record was Perkins Eastman.
Darrow School, a small secondary boarding school in New Lebanon, NY had art facilities that were located in left-over spaces in various buildings around the 365 acre campus. The school realized that to attract new students and to consolidate their arts program, Darrow would need to build a new facility.
The basic design of the new building continues a circulation path set up by an adjacent dining facility and helps to reinforce an urban pedestrian core within the rural setting of the campus.
The main organizing principle of the structure is a central gallery space, glazed at both ends which continues the entry path to a view across the valley and to the hills beyond. To either side of this path are located seminar and exhibit spaces, which allow the building to host large events. Beyond these are arranged a professional woodshop, ceramics studio with large gas kiln, a traditional photography lab and computer media studio. Upstairs are situated the painting and drawing studios, with maximum access to natural light.
While the building is detailed and toned to blend in with the shaker buildings that comprise the majority of the campus, the materials (standing seam roof and fiber-cement siding) were selected for their longevity.
Though it is a two-story building, the roof comes down to the first story eave, in order to offset the relative large size of the structure.
Clerestory windows bring light into the second floor corridor, while light-pipes direct natural light into the interior first floor corridor. The facility is fully accessible with the schools only elevator and ada compliant toilets and spaces.