Wesleyan University Davison Art Center

Wesleyan University Davison Art Center

In Spring 2019, Peterson Rich Ofce won an invited competition to design a new gallery building for the Wesleyan University Davison Art Collection — one of the most extensive collections of works on paper in North America. The collection currently resides in a remote corner of campus with inadequate facilities for storage or display. The new building site places the collection at the heart of the campus, between a McKim Mead and White designed main library and the Public Afairs Center (PAC).

 

The new gallery presents an opportunity to literally mix the visual arts into central campus, to extend a sense of interdisciplinarity and fellowship between departments, and to provide a clearly defined place with a distinct identity for this very important university resource. The new gallery will be inextricable from surrounding program. It will be a connective building that ties multiple groups of people to one another and to the visual arts.

 

In a small area it 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.The print collection has the potential to engage disciplines beyond visual art or art history alone. The new gallery will be a center for the collective, interdisciplinary investigation of the Davison Print collection by students, faculty, and visitors alike.

Client:Wesleyan University
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Wesleyan University Davison Art Center

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Wesleyan University Davison Art Center

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