This six-story, one hundred and thirteen year-old structure sat vacant for nearly 20 years before Marshall University purchased it to transform into a new home for the School of Art & Design, their first significant expansion into the downtown. Presented with a complex program that required more space than was available in the building, we worked closely with faculty to identify critical adjacencies and opportunities for shared space. The solution creates consistent floor-to-floor patterns, yet elegantly resolves the complex and varied departmental needs.
The design concept was to create an open, modern feeling within the historic structure. Lighting and acoustics were carefully addressed in the design. Conduit, piping and lighting were organized to minimize visual clutter, and a warm gray color unifies the ceiling plane. A unique color scheme on each level, reflected in signage and furniture selections, serves as an orienting feature from floor to floor. The result is a hip, sophisticated space with just the right mix of historic elements and modern design.
“You spent many hours listening to what the faculty needed to deliver quality experiences to our students, and you took that information and developed a very comprehensive program. Your design that came from the program is beautiful and functional, and the Visual Arts Center is a masterpiece. Our partnership with your firm was a rewarding experience for all of us at Marshall University. Thank you!”
— Don Van Horn, Dean, Marshall University Visual Arts Center