Brown University, Rhode Island (USA)

 

Brown University, Rhode Island (USA)

“Advancing innovative directions for research, teaching, and production across the boundaries of individual arts disciplines and among artists, scientists, and scholars” is the vocation of the Granoff Center for the creative arts (Brown University).

 

 

 

 

 

Architect: Diller Scofidio, Renfro, 
Technique: Composite cassette VMZINC®, Surface aspect: QUARTZ-ZINC®

 

The 3600 m² building includes a recording studio, a multimedia laboratory, a gallery and large multi-purpose production studios. This innovative concept integrates three stacked floor slabs, cut in half and offset vertically in order to create six half-levels that are compartmented by a The architect’s vision “The Granoff center is a stack of simple lofts, but the ingenious yet practical arrangement gives the impression of a four-storey volume that has been cut in two, with the left-hand part having moved upwards by half a storey. The levels are indeed deliberately misaligned as though shaken by an earthquake… We wanted architectural components that would stimulate the creative process. This mix of architectural design and academic teaching is part of our strategy to encourage and illustrate collaboration at all levels.”  Charles Renfro glass separating wall. The staggered floor levels make each studio communicate with those above and below it, while controlling light, sound and visibility levels. An interior staircase joins all the floors and the landings extend into furnished coffee break areas. This shared-level strategy is also applied externally, with the landscape in front of the building split into two parts – one half sloping away from the entrance hall and the public gallery, the other inclined towards an external amphitheatre which opens onto an auditorium.

 

 

Technical focus

Composite panels offer a variety of transformation solutions while preserving their exceptional flatness, in particular the
possibility of forming three-dimensional cassettes. The architect capitalized on this capacity in order to create the pleated
facade effect “It’s like a woman lifting the hem of her skirt”.

 

The system applied

VMZINC Composite is a multilayer panel made up of two 0.5 mm zinc sheets thermally bonded around a polyethylene core which
is treated with minerals in order to optimize fire resistance. The VMZINC Composite panels are installed on an external frame to form
a ventilated facade.

 

Architectural choices


“The Granoff center is a stack of simple lofts, but the ingenious yet practical arrangement gives the impression of a four-storey volume that has been cut in two, with the left-hand part having moved upwards by half a storey. The levels are indeed deliberately misaligned as though shaken by an earthquake… We wanted architectural components that would stimulate the creative process. This mix of architectural design and academic teaching is part of our strategy to encourage and illustrate collaboration at all levels.” Charles Renfro