Located on an extension of the Historic District Zone, the Witte Arts Center required a highly regulated relationship of material and compositional attributes. The 6,000sf program called for a Gallery and Café on the first floor and Community Art Studios on the second floor. Our layout maximized public exposure on the first floor, with a more private attitude towards the second floor. The interiors were designed as flexible spaces that yield to the regular interventions of the artists invited to exhibit in the gallery, as well as the daily changing needs of the workshop above.
The gallery takes advantage of the streetscape through transparency, maximizing the exposure of its interior activities to the urban context. The code requirement of a second means of egress from the upper level allowed the community art studios to have a direct connection to the street in addition to the lobby, and in this way contribute to the life of a key intersection within the city. Working within the constraints of a very low budget, we selected materials that fit within the context but had the potential to generate a strong image for the center and enhance the community. The resulting design provides an iconic presence in a key moment in the city grid.
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin
50th Progressive Architecture Awards, Design Citation in Architecture