a sloping forward at a delicate angle and others leaning back like the ribs of a half-open fan. Then they fold inside to form the ceilings of the offices, atria, and bank lobby on the ground floor. Inside the atria, van Egeraat stiffened the glass curtain walls with a cage of steel cables stabilized by long steel planks. On the outside, he tied together the entire elevation with looping metal ribbons that are purely decorative. Lamps in the sidewalk uplight the facade, heightening the building's dramatic impact on the cityscape.
A jagged roofline—the result of the height differences of the building's three volumes—emphasizes the design's dynamic character. And by making it impossible to read the individual floors behind the mosaic facade, van Egeraat emphasizes the sculptural aspect of the project.
Van Egeraat calls his design principle "composed randomness," and applied it particularly to the building's fenestration. "Even in this age of computer-aided design, the windows were very complex to design," he says. "I used a set number of window types, of course, but I wanted the building to look as if they were all different. Moreover, when you look up from the street, some windows seem to tower over you, and others are foreshortened because they lean back." In the boardroom at the top of the tallest of the three volumes, some of the windows extend all the way up to and over the roof, emphasizing the "randomness" of their placement.
The building calms down on the back and sides, where the architect created fluid, boatlike forms using white plaster surfaces, and horizontal fenestration that evokes the strip windows of Modernism, the style van Egeraat loves to hate.
Inside, though, the off-balance aesthetic starts up again. For example, van Egeraat finished the walls of the bank lobby with green and gold graphics, clad blocky counters with wooden slats, and tilted silver columns at odd angles. "I felt freer here," he says, "since this is a public space and will probably change more often than the offices."
Van Egeraat describes his architecture as "Modern Baroque," an intentional riposte to the fatigued brand of Modernism that dominated the Netherlands both as an ideology and as a style for most of the 20th century. "My architecture has to do with emotion and intuition," he states, "not with the anemic less-is-more reductionism that has made architecture into a dogma rather than an art. My task is to make beautiful things. How they are made is not important, what matters is how they look." ■
Sources Hatar-TPlusz, with System Steel
Glass and aluminum facade: Alukol Granite floors: Reneszansz Atrium glass wall and roof: Helmut
Fisher, with RFR For more information on this project,
Internal glass facade: Havasi go to Projects at
Stainless-steel facade ribbons: www.archrecord.com.
Van Egeraat speaks of his architecture as "composed randomness," a concept seen in the angled columns of the poured-in-place concrete structure (seen here in the banking hall), as well as the building's animated street facade.
The dance studio (opposite) has a high ceiling and huge, polycarbonate windows. These windows filter bright light during the day and glow at night (this page). Stained cedar clads much of the center's facade.
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By Sam Lubell
Founded as a 1960s experiment for motivated and restless high school juniors and seniors to advance directly to college, Simon's Rock College of Bard began with a tiny student body on a campus nestled in the Berkshire Mountains. In recent years, the school, hoping to expand its offerings, has enlarged its student numbers by about a third, and has begun augmenting its facilities to match, building a new athletic center, science center [record, February 2000, page 88], dormitory, and upcoming student union. But while doing this, explains longtime dean (and now English department chair) Bernie Rodgers, the school didn't want to lose the quirky, alternative character that made it special in the first place.
Therefore, in designing the school's Daniel Arts Center, Boston-based Ann Beha architects had a lot to negotiate. It wanted to retain the uniqueness of the college and respect the surroundings of verdant forests, timber frame buildings, converted barns and sheds, and Modern construction. At the same time, it sought a contemporary set of buildings that would be a symbol of the school's progress and a literal public face at the campus's edge. All within a modest $12.5 million budget.
The 53,000-square-foot complex, which triples the school's total arts space, is located on a fairly steep incline on the roughly 5-acre site of an abandoned orchard near the campus entrance. It replaces a quaint but outmoded cluster of off-campus dairy barns used for the arts. In order to respect the campus's scale, maintain intimacy, and make the center's elements more legible, the architects broke the complex into three parts: one
Project: Daniel Arts Center, Great Barrington, Massachusetts Owner: Simon's Rock College of Bard Architect: Ann Beha Architects—Ann Beha, FAIA, Robert Miklos, FAIA, principals; Geoffrey Pingree, AIA, project manager; Zachary Hinchliffe, AIA, project architect; Tom Kahmann, AIA, Patrick Tam, Mark
Oldham, project team Engineers: LeMessurier Consultants (structural); TMP Engineers (m/e/p, f/p); White Engineers (civil) Consultants: Reed Hilderbrand (landscape); Acentech (acoustical); Fischer Dachs Associates (theater); Ripman Lighting Consultants (lighting) General contractor: Mullaney Corp.
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