With its historic campus in the suburbs of Lancaster, Franklin & Marshall College has an exciting starting point. The oldest building dating back to 1856 shows a massive brick façade. By contrast, the new Winter Visual Arts Center should represent lightness and lightness.
Facade and lighting concept
A convex façade, formed by trees, surrounds the upper part of the building, which rests on a solid concrete base and protrudes on all sides. Closed white walls alternate with transparent surfaces that let filtered light in. At night, the building almost looks like a paper lamp glowing in the middle of the dark garden. The exciting lighting concept is derived from the college motto: Lux et Lex.
Floor plan and space allocation
A long ramp leads to the main entrance on the first floor. A flooded lobby acts as a diffuser. In addition to the common areas, each art discipline has its own and individually designed space. Painting studios span over two floors. Smaller seminar rooms have a normal ceiling height. Downstairs, the film and shooting teams can optimally darken their areas. The effect of balanced daylight and artificial light can be seen throughout the building. Smooth surfaces like smooth terrazzo floors enhance the light effect.
The environmental aspect
The trees on the property were not only preserved, but were also incorporated directly into the design. The engineers also wanted to intervene as little as possible into the terrain. The existing meadows and vegetation are almost intact. Access via a ramp made it possible to dispense with new paths through the green.