The 32,000 SF Arts and Community Center, currently targeted for LEED Silver Certification, is a shining beacon of community, serving multiple functions for it’s many visitors. It provides a dynamic home to the visual and performing arts, and it is a welcoming space for key tri-weekly “all school” gatherings, that are instrumental to the well-being of this community. Crucial to the ethos of the School, is its gift as a gathering space outdoors, gently nestled in the hills and trees of the western Connecticut landscape.
Upon the completion of their 2016 Master Plan, the School took a bold step in deciding to build a sustainable, 32,000 SF facility dedicated to transparency and openness, inclusion, collaboration, innovation, and excitement – a merging of the arts and community in a forward-looking building that respected the highly contextual vernacular of the existing campus.
The intent was two-fold: to create indoor space that would serve multiple community functions, including the visual and performing arts and to create gathering space outdoors, which is crucial to the ethos of the School, nested in the hills and trees of the western Connecticut landscape.
The Arts and Community Center is a contextual response in scale and materiality that pushes the vernacular of its surroundings to open up and accept, to invite natural light and capture the dialogue between the interior and exterior experience. Spaces are grand but engaging, continuously flexing between comfort, safety, openness and fun, always with a nod toward the landscape surrounding the building.
In my opinion, this is a game changer for FGS students and for generations to follow. It will provide this wonderful school with the facilities to deliver a distinguished, diversified and unique curriculum. The performing arts program at The Frederick Gunn School is currently thriving and soon it will have a venue to match its caliber and advance it to its greatest potential. This is truly a dream come true!