Cultural Center

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This is a revision of the writing center, whose design ideas I explain below. I kept the front parts of the building but changed the back. Again, its general purpose is to provide a variety of rooms to support the arts in a community—classrooms, studios, a gallery, a screening room, lecture rooms, with possibilities for administrative and still other uses along with space for informal gathering.

Really, such a project provides an opportunity to test out several ideas beyond commercial or residential uses and gives a chance to explore, my main interest. My general design principle is to combine various styles without attempting to integrate them, yet still keeping a sense of a whole. Here you see Greek Revival, with the split temple front and odd use of columns, a restrained postmodern glance. Other parts of the building I suppose are slightly gothic, along with modernist presences—glass walls, geometric solids in the brick walls, and the open grid at the back, absorbed into the rest of the building. I had Sol LeWitt’s cubes in mind with the grid but have just discovered Peter Eisenman’s Wexner Center for the Arts that does something similar. I repeat here, however, my reservations about art centers that call too much attention to themselves, perhaps at the expense of the functions they contain. This is still a modest attempt, even self-effacing.

Click on all images to enlarge.

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I can’t decide if this works or not. The solution, I suspect, would not be to abandon the attempt at division and variety but take it further.

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Again, the building is broken up into separate parts around a small courtyard. The roofs delineate the separate rooms. The white roofs could be louvered vents to allow light and air.

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