Art Center Waco

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Location: Waco, TX Client: Art Center Waco Category: Commercial Scope: Renovation / Addition Services: Architecture / Interior Design

Fulfilling a long-standing desire to relocate to the downtown area, the Art Center Waco project entailed the transformation of an existing 8,771 square foot masonry shell building that had very little existing architectural or aesthetic character. This simple structure was treated as a framework to be filled and filtered. Notably, the building finish floor needed to be elevated due to the new floodplain boundary. RBDR used the required grade transition as an opportunity to create an entry sequence. Here, a simple valence built from an irregular arrangement of steel angles screens light and views. Once inside, angled partitions allow for increased display opportunity in an energized central space while providing entrances for perimeter classrooms. Gallery areas are surrounded with large existing openings that the art team utilized as flexible interior/exterior display spaces. The ceiling plane design intent is to interject an atmosphere of playfulness without detracting from exhibits. Although not yet filled, there are numerous spaces for existing and future sculptures designed into the site surrounding the building. Some are interspersed at the bases of the steel exoskeleton in the outdoor gathering space. Large overhead glass doors create a multipurpose indoor/outdoor space.