Lafayette College: Williams Visual Arts Center

Project Description

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.

Awards

Project Details

  • Client Lafayette College
  • Location Easton, PA View map
  • Sq. ft. 24,000
  • Completed 2000

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…

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. The team designed and built features of the space to echo the creativity of the space and complement the design: the custom art drying racks and easels. 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.

The interior is further distinguished by its service core, a linear space-defining element that is clearly visible throughout the building. Conceived as a social hub or nerve center, the core is a highly articulated structure that contains mechanical systems, service, and storage. Here the spatial organization of the building is immediately perceived and understood. The building’s bold structure, left untouched by the architect, and industrial appearance can be fully experienced at its apex.

Award Certificate of Congratulations in Land Development – PA House of Representatives, 2017

Project Lafayette College: Williams Visual Arts Center

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Award Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition – PA Congress, 2017

Project Lafayette College: Williams Visual Arts Center

Award Certificate of Recognition in Land Development – Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, 2017

Project Lafayette College: Williams Visual Arts Center

Award Silver Medal – AIA Pennsylvania Chapter, 2003

Project Lafayette College: Williams Visual Arts Center

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