Bard College announces new building designed by Maya Lin

Call it a “generational and stylistic dance between Frank Gehry and Maya Lin.” That’s how Gideon Lester, artistic director of the Gehry-designed Fisher Center at Bard College, conjured up its next neighbor – a Lin-designed building that will provide studios for dance, theater, opera and music performances. center orchestra.

The 25,000-square-foot building, which will cost $42 million and has yet to be named, is expected to open next spring, the college announced Tuesday.

“We’re really packed,” Lester said in an interview. “The Fisher Center is a hybrid building: it’s a professional performing arts center and it’s a production house. But it’s also home to several of Bard’s academic programs in the performing arts. We use every space in the building, all the time.

Beyond the need for more space, Bard also hopes to double its growing cultural prominence away from its Hudson Valley campus, thanks in large part to the Fisher Center’s role as an incubator for new shows. Among its successes are Pam Tanowitz’s “Four Quartets,” hailed in 2018 by New York Times critic Alastair Macaulay as “the greatest dance theater creation so far this century.”

Lin said his new building, a co-design with Bialosky and Partners, as well as theater and acoustic engineering consultants Charcoalblue, was intended to provide indoor and outdoor rehearsal spaces as the center adds more artists. in residence.

A grass-covered roof will emerge from the ground in a sloping semicircle that creates a natural amphitheater on one side, allowing for public performances, while providing floor-to-ceiling studio windows on the other side. The swirling effect is intended to gently integrate the building into the surrounding meadow while creating a structure that complements – but never competes for attention – Gehry’s adjoining signature work.

“It was a dance,” Lin acknowledged of the balancing act, one she said she learned as a student of Gehry at Yale in the 1980s. who said, ‘Don’t worry about choosing between art or architecture, just keep doing what you’re doing.'”