US$42m Bard College project will support Frank Gehry’s nearby Fisher Centre

Architect and artist Maya Lin has been picked to design a new performing-arts studio building for Bard College in upstate New York.

The US$42m project – worth £36m at current exchange rates – will provide 2,300sq m of additional facilities for the performing arts college, including five state-of-the-art studios for artist residencies, rehearsals, informal performances, and dance and theater classes.

The space will support the college’s Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center, which has two theatres for bigger scale performances, as Bard expands its programme. That building completed in 2003 at a cost of US£62m.

Lin, who found fame as designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, was a student of Gehry’s at Yale University.

She said the new performing arts building, which will be spiral-shaped and feature a sloping grass-covered roof, would “create a quiet and respectful dialogue” with the Gehry building.

“I have long admired the Fisher Center,” Lin said. “Frank was my teacher at Yale, and it’s particularly meaningful for me to design this new building in relation to his.


Source: Noah Sheldon / Bard College

Frank Gehry’s Fisher Center at Bard College in Annadale-on-Hudson in upstate New York

“I will set the studio building into the landscape, tucking it into a hillside so at first only its green roof will be visible. Yet the sloping land will allow double-height studios to open fully to the meadow and woodlands, connecting artists, students, and faculty to the landscape while creating a unique and strong architectural presence.

“We are designing a high performance, energy efficient, low carbon building that will be sensitive to its site, reflecting my aesthetic and my concern for the environment.”

The new centre, which Lin will deliver with architects Bialosky and Partners and theatre and acoustic consultants Charcoalblue, will encircle a grassy courtyard for outdoor classes, gatherings or performances. Work is due to begin next year.

Over the summer, Lin was chosen to design a public art installation for the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.


Source: Maya Lin Studio with Bialosky New York

Maya Lin’s proposals for a new performing arts studio building at Bard College