In its setting, between a nature preserve and the center of the town, the facility supports a plethora of user groups, ranging from children’s art classes, performing arts, lectures, gallery exhibitions, and artist residency programs. Its success and strong donor support prompted the expansion of the facility.
Through a carefully staged series of ecological, legal, and planning projects, a southern building addition became the focus for the expansion. The challenge was to honor the quaint but unconventional architecture of the existing building to create a new, productive synthesis of form that remained vernacular, but responsive to the complexity of use.
A large gallery space mimics the original high ceiling space and distributes volumetric drama within the expanded facility. With ambient clerestory windows and a sensitive light design, the new gallery allows flexibility for display and a multitude of educational, performance, and community gatherings. A mediating arrival space bisects the two open areas, old and new, and accommodates visitor arrival, increasing its welcoming capacity. A new connecting eave operates as tissue that literally integrates with the original building’s geometry, defining an exterior space that further promotes the institution’s outward mission.