ikon.5 architects completes School of Art and Design Expansion at the New York State College of Ceramics
The McGee Art Pavilion is an expansion to the School of Art and Design at the New York State College of Ceramics. Designed as a large ceramic container for holding art and light, the pavilion is set on a plaza between two existing campus buildings. Its expression comes from the School’s storied ceramics program and the region’s history as an important centre of industrial design, ceramic and glass making and creates a modern art pavilion that is homage to a rich tradition of 'making', thus fulfilling the key project goal that the addition express the function and history of ceramic art.
The ceramic façade, made of un-glazed terracotta tubes, is a solar and rain screen. The tubes that make up the screen are suggestive of the ceramic vessels and art objects created inside the School of Art and Design. Their un-glazed flushed white pigment is similar to the nature of student art work before final finishing and the staggered pattern recalls the racks of unfinished ceramic vessels found throughout the studios inside. Cantilevering over a glass wall, the pavilion vividly engages campus on-lookers as a piece of ceramic art and allows them to see inside the exhibition gallery, consequently putting student work on public display.
The public display of student art along the main campus thoroughfare fulfills the mission of the College by educating all students, regardless of discipline of study, in the importance of the arts in society. The pavilion contains a large flexible multi-storey exhibition gallery, an immersive audio / visual gallery, expanded media studios and flexible art studios. The McGee Pavilion is designed to achieve a USGBC LEED Silver certification through control of day-lighting in the galleries, TPO roofing, low consumption water fixtures and high efficiency heating ventilation and air condition systems, including radiant heating in the exposed concrete floors of the studios and exhibition space.