Ennead: Hiembold Visual Arts Center

Ennead: Hiembold Visual Arts Center

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This is one in a series of books, each of which tells the story of a single building.  It is our hope that as these books accumulate alongside our body of work, they, in their aggregate, will form a profile of our design intentions.  -Ennead Architects

This book, like the building, is a collage of intentions.  It attempts to reveal the process of creating a place for making and thinking about art.  The documentation of the design illustrates the translation of these intentions into a building that resonates with the unique physical characteristics of the Sarah Lawrence campus and the individuals that have formed the vitality of the curriculum.  An on-going debate about the nature of making art, and in particular the value of inter-disciplinary collaboration and emerging technologies in art education, fueled the process.  A dynamic condition was defined, characterized by multiple voices and unexpected activity that could be anticipated yet not controlled.  The reciprocity between the building and the activity of making art - the hand and the machine, the individual and the community, the intimate and the monumental, the physical and the virtual - became a vital force.  The design emerged out of a recognition that this structure would ultimately take on a life of its own and thus needed to be a flexible framework for an intensive and creative world, one that could transform to provide for the unexpected and contradictory over time.  The result is an environment that accommodates a wide variety of approaches, personalities and teaching methodologies.