Easton, PA | 24,000 SF | Silver Medal, Pennsylvania AIA
Situated at the base of College Hill on North Third Street in downtown Easton, the Williams Visual Arts Center is a transformation of the former Hoffman Motor Co. into an industrial-tech art studio and gallery complex. Set within an urban context, the structure rises from the banks of the Bushkill Creek and anchors itself proudly at the termination of the busy Third Street corridor. Its orientation emphasizes public access and urban integration.The building’s primary material, cast-away “clinker brick,” presents a random patterning evocative of ancient Persian brickwork. Large expanses of glass window walls compliment the tactile charm of the brick. The carefully manipulated exterior surface offers glimpses into the art gallery and community art studio on the first floor.
The upper level is radically simple in its organization: an open container for student and faculty artists. Here, clear daylight enters deeply into the building. Shed forms rise above the space as lighting features while providing spatial order and orientation. Storage amenities are articulated as movable furnishings placed within. Views from the sculpture studio look into a walled courtyard – a peaceful space sheltered from the sounds of the city, an outdoor room that opens to the sky.