original publication material - courtesy of Deborah Berke & Partners Architects
Yale School of Art and Theatre: Chapel Street BuildingEdit profile
Housing the undergraduate and graduate art, painting, photography, and graphic design programs and the Drama School’s New Theater, Yale University’s new School of Art and New Theatre is a 115,000 square foot complex of buildings. Convinced that an art school building must function in the background to what is most important -- art and the making of art -- DBPA sensitively renovated an existing building and constructed an adjacent new building.
Architectural detailing and the materials employed withstand the wear and tear of making art. Making art requires flexibility, the design emphasizes clean surfaces that neither dictate media nor limit dimension. Durable materials -- bare concrete, industrial fittings -- highlight the beauty of simple objects used thoughtfully, while respecting the project’s modest budget.
Because abundant natural light is so essential to the making of art, the design takes advantage of the existing building’s lengthy perimeter walls and opens them up with new windows. Similarly, the new building allows every student to work in a studio with natural light. All of these architectural requirements are meticulously coordinated with the buildings’ complex mechanical systems -- necessitated by the volatile substances and hazardous processes often involved in the creation of contemporary art.
The buildings’ rich variety of spaces allows for both the solitude of making art and the community of teaching and learning. The 5,000 square foot experimental theater and attendant support spaces inserted into the existing building complete the transformation of the formerly derelict community center into a newly restored and vibrant arts complex, enlivening one of New Haven’s main streets.
Original description by Deborah Berke & Partners