Maya Lin designs the new performing arts studio building for Bard College

Maya Lin designs the new performing arts studio building for Bard College

Frank Gehry’s stainless-steel-clad Richard P. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College has a new neighbor.

As Bard announced earlier this week and later reported New York times, Maya Lin was selected to design a dedicated performing arts studio building for the Fisher Center, which is located on the campus of the private liberal arts school overlooking the Hudson River in the village of Annadale-on-Hudson, New York. Work on the $42 million facility is scheduled to break ground next year in a neat time to tie in with the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Jerry Fisher Center, a technically complex $62 million project that took three years to complete and is now a massive undertaking. An impossible-to-miss landmark on the Bard Campus. The 110,000-square-foot Fisher Center includes two main stages — a 900-seat concert hall and a more intimate 200-seat performance venue — along with rehearsal spaces and support facilities.

The Lin-designed Studio Building, a 25,000-square-foot facility that Bard described in a press announcement as a “laboratory for the performing arts,” is slated to house five state-of-the-art studios linked by a series of informal facilities. Social Spaces and will “expand the identity of the Fisher Center beyond the walls of the stunning Gehry landmark, into a cultural campus encompassing the Gehry and Lane buildings.” The new building will take the form of a soaring green-roofed structure emerging from a green meadow near the Fisher Center. Multi-functional studio spaces in the sloped building will surround a grassy courtyard space that will be used for small outdoor performances, outdoor classes, and social gatherings, according to the school.

Introducing a circular building in the meadow
(Maya Lin Studio with Bialowski New York/Courtesy Maya Lin Studio © 2022)

“The Gehry Building contains two wonderful theaters, but our ambitious program has expanded beyond the current facility, and we urgently need more space for rehearsals, smaller-scale performances and teaching,” explained Fisher Center Board Chair Jane Donovan Fisher. “Maya Lin’s beautiful design will position the Fisher Center to leap into its third decade as one of the most vibrant, forward-looking arts centers in the country.”

Partnering with Lin and her New York City-based art and architecture studio on the project are multidisciplinary design firm Bialosky + Partners Architects and theatrical and audio consultants Charcoalblue.

Lin said in a statement shared by Bard:

“I am thrilled to have been chosen to design the Studio for the Performing Arts building at Bard. I have long admired the Fisher Center, and being able to create a new building in close proximity to it allows me to create a quiet, respectful dialogue with the great works of Frank Gehry. Frank was my professor at Yale, and he was a It is particularly useful for me to design this new building compared to his school. I will place the studio building within the landscape, placing it in a hillside so that only its green roof is initially visible. However, the sloping ground will allow the double-height studios to open completely to the meadows and woods, and connecting artists, students and faculty to the landscape while creating a unique and powerful architectural presence.We are designing a high-performance, energy-efficient, low-carbon building that is sensitive to its location, reflecting my aesthetic and concern for the environment.

Illustration of a pointed circular building
(Maya Lin Studio with Bialowski New York/Courtesy Maya Lin Studio © 2022)

Other projects underway led by Ohio-born Lin, an acclaimed designer known for her monuments and large-scale environmental artworks, include the new headquarters for the Manhattan Museum of Chinese in America and a water sculpture for the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. In 2016, Lynn was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by the former President of the United States along with her former Yale teacher, Jerry.

“It is fitting that Maya Lin, a peerless artist, would develop this home for artists,” added Gideon Lester, artistic director of the Fisher Center. “In close contact with its natural environment, at the same time, the building will emerge from the meadow like an opening between earth and air, to create a welcoming and inspiring laboratory for artists, students, faculty and the public.”

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