Studio Gang Architects and Kalamazoo College have announced plans to break ground October 9, at 4PM, on a new campus building to house the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership in southwest Michigan. The 10,000 square foot, wood masonry center will be the world’s first purpose-built structure for social justice leadership development, integrating a study, meeting, and event space where students, faculty, visiting scholars, social justice leaders, and members of the public will come together to engage in conversation and activities aimed at creating a more just world.
Set to be completed in Fall 2013, the Arcus Center is targeting LEED Gold certification. Continue after the break to learn more.
Studio Gang has organized the building as a “welcoming crossroads for convening”, allowing the architecture to reflect the Arcus Center’s mission and work. The plan engages it’s three immediate contexts – the college campus, a residential neighborhood, and an old-growth grove of trees – by drawing their topography into the building and outwardly projecting the activities taking place within through transparent facades.
The gently curving walls connecting these facades are constructed with wood masonry – a regional, traditional building method that incorporates local, sustainably harvested white cedar. This is the first instance that this building technique, which is both low-carbon and highly insulating, has been employed for a project at an institutional scale.