LAFAYETTE COLLEGE ARTS PLAZA BY SPILLMAN FARMER ARCHITECTS

Arts Plaza at Lafayette College

Arts Plaza at Lafayette CollegeThe Arts Plaza at Lafayette College is a raw, open-air space for the arts. This distinctive space was envisioned as an outdoor black box that can host a wide array of planned and spontaneous artistic endeavors, including performance art, visual art exhibits, and small-group musical performances.
Arts Plaza at Lafayette CollegeThe structure actually transforms an abandoned auto repair facility into a dynamic outdoor teaching space that responds to the built and natural environment of which it is part.
Arts Plaza at Lafayette CollegeThe Arts Plaza was built as an urban infill project on a site that spans the Bushkill Creek, part of the confluence of waterways that define the City of Easton.
Arts Plaza at Lafayette CollegeWhile the site’s previous building had solid walls that proved an effective barrier between the creek’s environment and the community, the new Arts Plaza literally deconstructs these barriers to connect people and nature.
Arts Plaza at Lafayette CollegeThe existing building was distilled to its essence; a platform and a timber structure. New masonry monoliths rise out of the plaza and echo the rhythm and scale of the neighboring Williams Visual Arts Building.
Arts Plaza at Lafayette CollegeA delicately detailed steel frame armature, iron gates, and vegetated mesh screens further define the space. The project is an exercise in multiple connections: between Lafayette College, the site, its urban context, and nature.
Arts Plaza at Lafayette CollegeThe Plaza utilizes the site’s unique location above the creek to connect the users to the creek through an oculus cut into the floor slab. The oculus frame was fabricated from steel harvested during the demolition of the existing building, an act  to reinvigorate the new with the old. 
Arts Plaza at Lafayette CollegeThe oculus also amplifies the sound of the bubbling creek below into the space for multi-sensory communication between the Plaza and its natural environment.  
Arts Plaza at Lafayette CollegeAs part of the site’s transformation, the east wall of the existing building was completely removed to allow views to the water from within the Plaza. The multiple types of transparency in the west wall further open the creek views to pedestrians passing by on the sidewalk.
Arts Plaza at Lafayette CollegeVisually, the site’s design attempts to draw attention to the confluence of many types of space (university,urban, natural) and to further enhance the connections created by the Plaza itself.
Arts Plaza at Lafayette CollegeLocation: Easton, USA 
Managing Principal: James Whildin, AIA 
Design Principal: Joseph N. Biondo, AIA 
Project Architect: Wayne F. Stitt, AIA 
Project Team: William Deegan, Randy Galiotto, Sierra Krause, Clint Newton, Elliot Nolter, Mark Piell, Barry Pell, Patrick Ruggiero, Joanne Titcomb, IIDA, Salvatore Verrastro, AIA, CCS, CCCA, FCSI, NCARB, Dave Wrigley, CSI, CCS, Patrick Ytsma, RA, Erin F. McGuinness, LEED AP 
Area: 7,145 sqm 
Year: 2010 
Client: Lafayette College 
Photographs: Barry Halkin, Vicki Liantonio
Arts Plaza at Lafayette College Arts Plaza at Lafayette College Arts Plaza at Lafayette College Arts Plaza at Lafayette College Arts Plaza at Lafayette College Arts Plaza at Lafayette College Arts Plaza at Lafayette College

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