Silman, A TYLin Company, provided structural engineering design services for Franklin & Marshall College’s new Visual Arts Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
The Susan and Benjamin Winter Visual Arts Center at Franklin & Marshall College is a unique three-story structure housing the departments of Art and Art History. Situated adjacent to Buchanan Park, the structure evokes a sense of art.
The raised superstructure features concave inflections that take their shape from the old growth trees on the building’s site. The superstructure is constructed of light braced frame and moment frame hybrid elements, dubbed truss-frames, which are concealed within interior partition walls. The truss-frames are supported on interior concrete cores and cantilever from concrete walls situated at the perimeter of the ground floor. The design allows the interior to be entirely column free and creates a kite-like, floating effect for the upper levels.
A glass-enclosed central forum provides views of the park and a new reflecting pool.
The reflecting pool doubles as campus stormwater overflow.
The 35,000-square-feet of space features studios, an area for large-scale stone and metal sculpting, film labs, and an 84-seat cinema-screening auditorium.
The structure was designed with the intent to be LEED Gold certified.
The project architect was Steven Holl Architects
Images credit: Paul Warchol