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Richard E. Peeler Art Center
Depauw University
Greencastle, Ind.
Carlos Jimenez Studio

An arts facility that complements the existing campus and creates a new entryway


© Paul Hester

For more photos click on 'photos & drawings' above.

To see the people and products behind this project click on 'people & products.'

This 1837, private liberal arts university is going through a critical expansion and revaluation of its campus. The Peeler Art Center represents an important initiative of this expansion. In addition to accommodating a variety of art-related spaces including studios, workshops and exhibition galleries, the building demarcates what will become a prominent new entry to the campus.

The first floor contains all of the main public spaces such as exhibition galleries, small auditorium, lobby and administrative offices, as well as the largest studios for ceramics and sculpture. The second floor is divided into a variety of medium-sized studios for drawing and painting, and an interrelated set of photography studios and classrooms. Seminar rooms and most faculty offices are located on this floor. The latter wraps around a south facing courtyard lightwell.

The building's materiality borrows from the existing palette of Indiana limestone and brick used throughout the campus, allowing the art center to fit within its predominant context of Neo-Georgian structures without direct stylistic emulation. Detailed to a greater subdued rhythm of scale and proportion, infused with abundant yet carefully deployed natural light, the art center aspires to expand the present language of architecture in the campus. Its taut and elemental profile introduces a new point of reference for future buildings. Rather than being a building that is an isolated object, the art center opts to engage and relate to the buildings around it. The density of the building's footprint and its inviting entrance create connective tissue in a campus of discreet and isolated buildings. A covered passageway is provided beneath the second floor studios and their large dormer-like windows as a protected arcade for those students who will travel from the east part of the campus to the west. It is a protected street that invites the pedestrian to catch a glimpse at the art works on display, or simply to imagine them being made beyond the walls.

Formal name of Project:
Richard E. Peeler Art Center
Depauw University

Location:
Greencastle, Ind.

Gross square footage:
87,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost:
$11.8 million

Owner:
Depauw University,
10 West Hanna Street
Greencastle, Indiana 46135

Architect:
Design Architect:
Carlos Jimenez Studio, Houston

Architect:
C.S.O. Architects, Inc., Indianapolis

 

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