Wesleyan University Pruzan Arts Center

In Spring 2019, PRO won an invited competition to design a new art gallery building for the Wesleyan University Davison Arts Center—one of the most extensive collections of works on paper in North America.

The project repositions the university’s works on paper collection from a siloed Arts Campus designed by Roche and Dinkeloo to sit between two McKim, Mead, & White structures at the heart of campus, forming a bridge between them and creating a modern entry point into the main university library.The new gallery presents an opportunity to literally mix the visual arts into the central campus, to extend a sense of interdisciplinary fellowship between departments, and to provide a clearly defined place with a distinct identity for this very important university resource.

 

It will be a connective building — a social condenser — one that ties multiple groups of people to one another and to the visual arts.  In a relatively small area, the new gallery building accommodates several complex and sometimes contradictory functions. On the one hand, the new building will be open, porous, and connective, linking adjacent buildings and creating new campus connections.  On the other hand, the gallery itself must be a highly controlled environment, devoid of sunlight, and protective of the delicate works on paper.  Our design carefully overlaps these seemingly opposing characteristics in the service of both the connective and protective nature of the program.

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Location
Middletown, CT
Status
Completed
2023
Client
Wesleyan University
Typology
Cultural, Institutional, Gallery
Size
8,500 sf

In Spring 2019, PRO won an invited competition to design a new art gallery building for the Wesleyan University Davison Arts Center—one of the most extensive collections of works on paper in North America.

It will be a connective building — a social condenser — one that ties multiple groups of people to one another and to the visual arts.  In a relatively small area, the new gallery building accommodates several complex and sometimes contradictory functions. On the one hand, the new building will be open, porous, and connective, linking adjacent buildings and creating new campus connections.  On the other hand, the gallery itself must be a highly controlled environment, devoid of sunlight, and protective of the delicate works on paper.  Our design carefully overlaps these seemingly opposing characteristics in the service of both the connective and protective nature of the program.

Location
Middletown, CT
Status
Completed
2023
Client
Wesleyan University
Typology
Cultural
Institutional
Gallery
Size
8,500 sf
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The project holds a distinguished place within the office. Its significance is twofold: it marks a poignant homecoming for Nathan, allowing him to engage with his alma mater as a professional, and for Miriam, it represents a reunion with an institution where she took some of her first steps as an architecture professor

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The project holds a distinguished place within the office. Its significance is twofold: it marks a poignant homecoming for Nathan, allowing him to engage with his alma mater as a professional, and for Miriam, it represents a reunion with an institution where she took some of her first steps as an architecture professor

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The building is envisioned as a dynamic hub of interaction, serving as a connective structure that seamlessly integrates the visual arts into the heart of the campus. It embodies the university’s core principles, fostering an environment that encourages interdisciplinary collaboration and innovative thought

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The building is envisioned as a dynamic hub of interaction, serving as a connective structure that seamlessly integrates the visual arts into the heart of the campus. It embodies the university’s core principles, fostering an environment that encourages interdisciplinary collaboration and innovative thought

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In the interior, the building connects and opens up into the historic structures on campus, embracing the tactile experience of the existing brick adjacencies

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In the interior, the building connects and opens up into the historic structures on campus, embracing the tactile experience of the existing brick adjacencies

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Architectural

Miriam Peterson

Nathan Rich

Alex Bodkin

Ben Hochberg

Bryson Wood

Charles Beckendorf

Sarah Kasper

Martin Carrillo Bueno

Sixuan Chen

Consultants
Structural Engineers
Silman
Architect of Record
Newman Architects
Engineering, Structural
Michael Horton Associates, Inc.
MEP Engineers
Van Zelm Heywood & Shadford Inc.
Code
Philip R. Sherman P.E.
Acoustics
Accentech
Process
Drawings
Selected Press
9/3/2021
Wesleyan Pruzan Arts Center on Architects Newspaper

Peterson Rich Office reveals Wesleyan University’s newest art gallery

Wesleyan University Pruzan Arts Center
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