Dramatic Transformation at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
(PHILADELPHIA, April 2, 2019) – The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) celebrated the official opening of the John and Richanda Rhoden Arts Center on February 21, 2019 in Philadelphia. Representatives from DLR Group, which was recently ranked the #1 Cultural Design firm by BD World Architecture, were in attendance to commemorate the occasion.
Located in the previously unused lower level of the historic 280,000-SF Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, the Arts Center is part of our multi-phased master plan that encompasses both the Hamilton Building and the iconic Furness and Hewitt Historic Landmark Building, which is considered the first modern landmark and one of the most significant historic structures in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PAFA’s new Arts Center realizes a key aspect of the master plan to create design solutions that preserve the Academy’s historic structures while addressing student population growth and collection care needs.
“The 1920s Hamilton Building remains a significant structure, not only to the Academy but also to the history of Philadelphia,” said Senior Principal, Paul Westlake, FAIA, who leads DLR Group’s Cultural+Performing Arts Studio. “Our design delivers a new Arts Center that respects the history of the structure and reinforces PAFA’s image as a nationally known institution where fine art is created and celebrated. We look forward to a lasting partnership with the Academy as the master plan continues to move forward.”
The 15,000-SF Arts Center includes a state-of-the-art 265-seat auditorium, a new gallery for student art exhibitions, and a collections storage vault for 20th- and 21st-century artwork. The auditorium includes an electro-acoustical enhancement system that simulates the acoustics of a much larger space and allows for unamplified classical music performances.
We are thrilled with the outcome of this renovation, which provides vast improvements over our former auditorium, student gallery, and art storage. The new Arts Center has sloped floors, optimal acoustics, state-of-the-art sound and lights, attractive design features, and expands the functionality of the hall to accommodate performances, all slotted into a space that is complicated by its historic infrastructure.”
In addition to performances and artwork created by and for PAFA, the new Arts Center will also host performances, concerts, lectures, and other events created in partnership with Arts Center partners, including the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, 900AM-WURD, the Fabric Workshop and Museum, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and Mural Arts Philadelphia.
Construction Begins on Long-Awaited Compton High School
Our design reimagines the district’s oldest high school and transforms the learning environment for all Compton students and educators.
Thinking Outside of the (Big) Box Recognized by Fast Company
Our approach to community-centric mall redevelopment has been recognized by Fast Company’s “World Changing Ideas Awards.”
Chaffey College Taps DLR Group for Planning and Design Services
A new library and learning commons will enhance student access to resources, and a new campus master plan will accommodate future growth.
DLR Group Designs New Student-Athlete High Performance Center
Northern Arizona University’s training facility boasts the country’s largest high-altitude training chamber on a collegiate campus.
In the Media
Northern Arizona University Student-Athlete High Performance Center featured on ArchDaily
ArchDaily explores Northern Arizona University Student-Athlete High-Performance Center, a state-of-the-art training facility designed to attract top student-athletes and focused on wellness and development.
Jacksonville’s Museum of Science & History Reveals Exterior of Future Riverfront Home
The Architect's Newspaper explores the recently unveiled design concepts for the Museum of Science & History, and the impact of the expansion on the museum and its surrounding communities.
Canyon View High School Aims to Change Education by Reshaping Space
Metropolis magazine explores Canyon View High School's design made to blur the edges between teaching and learning in an innovative, flexible space.
DLR Group Senior Associate Rita Saikali Carter joins TRXL podcast to talk about the issue of loyalty to an architecture firm versus the stigma of moving to different firms, and the reasons she's moved firms in the past.
Green Growth with Women Design Leaders
Stephanie Kinnick sat down with Commercial Interior Design magazine to discuss the connection between gender and the growth of sustainable design.
Green Buildings and Sustainability - Generation Orange Podcast
The future is green but how do we get there? Applied Research Leader Prem Sundharam talks with West-MEC about the NEX building on the Southwest campus.