Students were asked to master plan an artist’s colony in Cottonwood Falls, KS. The program included two primary elements: the studios in an adjacent field, as well as a gallery, theater, library, and living / sleeping quarters located closer to the town.
All old main streets are sensitive to new architectural projects. It is often the case that new developments overwhelm the old and raise concern and criticism by those that have been part of the community for generations. The project strives to integrate seamlessly with the nearly 100 year old main street (at the other end of which is the town’s prominent courthouse). The design takes note from the way that program is already laid out on the main street as well as the building typologies of the area. By repeating the way that general stores, restaurants, museums, and bars are laid out along the main street (one right next to the other) the sensitive main street (and its sensitive community) might be less alienated by the new building and more persuaded to integrate the public gallery and theater into their daily lives.
The form takes cues from the residential and public program housed within it. The form attempts to create one shape which is recognizable as both public and home-like (as artists often stay upwards of 3 months), while at the same time not competing with the courthouse at the opposite end of the street. While the form responds to its contents, the surrounding environment and the community, the influence is only skin deep. The interior draws its organization from the placement of the program which is articulated and placed within the shell of the building. The gallery, theater, and library (all unique to the main street) are designed as objects that sit within the simple masonry shell of the building.
The corner is addressed with large windows, so that the gallery and the auditorium are exposed directly to the street. An exterior sculpture gallery is also included as a way to invite people to the new building.
Status: School Project