A major 17,000 square foot expansion and selected renovations of the Gruss Arts Center building at the Lawrenceville School included student engagement areas; maker spaces, wood and metal shops, clean labs, large storage areas, flexible space that is convertible to multiple separate project rooms, museum information/ticket desk, and lobby and orientation space for the entire building. To accommodate a program that includes state-of-the-art production, printing, and multidisciplinary facilities, the design team added contiguous metal and wood shops and an open tri-level space with a glazed assembly room and concrete forum stair at its core. The walnut-topped bleacher-like treads—also used as benches for informal classes and meetings—lead to a basement with a virtual-reality space, transparent computer, and clean rooms. On the upper level, a 2,000-square-foot flex room, wrapped in walnut, overlooks the double-height lobby, getting daylight through interior windows and the transom roof above. This modifiable space divides into four acoustically controlled areas with operable whiteboard and pinup walls. The addition represents a new, iconographic presence within this special environment through the careful selection of materials, scaling, and architectural resolution. The goal was to create a welcoming, contemporary place for student learning and engagement. Natural light and warmth of materials were key components of the design considerations. The scope includes all new systems to support the entire center. The project was completed in 2020.
Construction Cost: $11,000,000