LocationPomona Hall, Amherst, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
Furniture/ObjectswHY in collaboration with the Pomona College Art Department
Structural EngineerThornton Tomasetti
CivilMagnusson Klemencic Associates
WaterproofingRoofing Waterproofing and Forensics Inc
Vertical TransportationLerch Bates
Door HardwareAssa Abloy Muscar, Shari
Code ConsultantAON Fire protection engineering
LightingGeorge Sexton Associates
Site Area88 acres
At the heart of Pomona College’s mission is to create a balanced, well-rounded education for its graduates. Believing that an exposure to the studio arts is critical within this framework, the 35,000 square foot Studio Art Hall brings art making, art appreciation, and art interaction together under one roof, synergizing many important faces of the school’s esteemed identity as a leading liberal arts college.
wHY’s team worked with the Art Department faculty and students early on to reimagine the program and site in support of positioning art in the center of campus. Programming sessions uncovered a desire for mixing and exposing different disciplines during the art-making process. The idea being that as formative minds explore new ideas, materials and media, collisions between different thoughts and influences should be encouraged.
The village-like open, porous nature of the architecture encourages collaboration among art majors as well as non-art majors with program elements arranged around a central courtyard that itself is part of a prominent diagonal path through
campus. Accomplished through semi-public, collaborative ‘Grey Spaces,’ the building maximizes the intersection between students, faculty and staff as they move through the studios and public areas.
A strategic, non-hierarchical gathering stacking of studio spaces (mediums) fuels an openness and unrestricted approach to art. The expansive use of glass provides students with transparency to the whole — insights into the creative processes of their peers and faculty members in multiple disciplines.
Covering and bringing it all together is an arching steel and wood roof that echoes the rise and fall of the nearby mountain range and draws parallels to the historic bowstring trussed warehouses that now house art galleries and studios throughout Los Angeles. In a nod to its inspiring placement on campus and within Southern California, floor-to-ceiling windows in many studios frame the expansive San Gabriel Mountains, rolling native landscape and an historic oak grove. The capacity to expand the working environment into the open air or natural surroundings is also encouraged.
To maximize efficiency, the site, building and interior design integrate sustainable components for uninterrupted art making. It is a green, cool and transparent atmosphere for the arts and the cross-pollination of ideas at Pomona College.