Designed to inspire creative exploration and learning by doing, Horvitz Hall, the new studio arts building at Kenyon College, is a hands-on laboratory for art. This project was part of a larger campus planning initiative to increase visibility and participation in the arts at Kenyon, a selective liberal arts college in central Ohio.
Located on a major approach to campus, zinc panels express the destination spaces and offer contrast with the brick masonry of the building shell. The new building brings the arts programs into the academic core and completes a new arts precinct with the nearby Gallery and Music buildings, west of Kenyon’s central pedestrian spine, Middle Path.
The program includes specialized studios for printmaking, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, lighting, installation, and digital and audio media, in addition to a gallery and exhibition area, offices, seminar rooms, and individual studio space for art majors. Separating the clean and dirty functions of the program, the building is organized by two intersecting bars – one containing three large studios per floor and the second containing smaller offices, classrooms and individual studios along a double-loaded corridor. Polished concrete flooring throughout the interior accommodates the messy process of art-making and compliments the utilitarian building aesthetic.
Horvitz Hall is LEED Silver-certified. Efficient mechanical systems tailored to each of the arts processes and energy recovery help conserve energy in the studio environments. Specialized equipment in all the studios ensures proper air quality and occupant health and safety. Program adjacencies were determined to reduce mechanical load — studios with the highest mechanical needs are located on the top floor to minimize the exhaust travel time to the exhaust systems on the roof. Indoor environmental quality is optimized with low-VOC materials, paints and sealants. Operable windows were provided to allow users to control their environments, and access to natural light and views are provided to more than 90 percent of spaces. Water efficient landscaping and low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce water usage.