We designed the gut-renovation to Louis I. Kahn’s Jewish Community Center of New Haven, derelict in 1997, and added a new Annex. Together the two buildings house Yale’s School of Art as well as an experimental theater (and its support spaces) for the Yale School of Drama.
By adapting key existing spaces in the original building to become “hubs” around which specific disciplines would center, each program has a clear identity, as well as a center, while still being part of a whole. Photography inhabits the pool; Graphic Design is in a former Gym; the school of Drama has the auditorium; Art Galleries use a pair of joined double-height handball courts. This allowed us to not “stratify” the disciplines vertically and, instead, give each access to light and connected public space. Our “Annex” creates a fifth hub, for painting, that serves to unify a three-story graduate painting and printmaking studio building.
110,000 square feet (80,000 at 1156 Chapel Street and 30,000 at 353 Crown Street)
Original Architect of 1156 Chapel Street – Louis I. Kahn, 1954
Deborah Berke Partners – Architect
Robert Silman Associates – Structural Engineers
R.A. Heintges Consultants – Curtain Wall Consultant
Jaffe Holden Scarbrough – Acoustical Engineer
Fisher Dachs Associates – Theater Consultant
Gary Gordon Architectural Lighting – Lighting Designer
Published in Architecture, June 2001