Glen Arbor, MI
1,700 sq ft Existing,
1,300 sq ft Additional
The Glen Arbor Arts Center has the uniquely important role as a multidimensional cultural center for a small, vibrant community in northern Michigan. In its setting, between a nature preserve and the commercial center of the town, the facility supports a plethora of use groups, ranging from art classes for school-age children, performing arts, lectures, gallery exhibitions, and artist residency programs. Its success and strong donor support prompted the expansion of the facility, and services, starting in 2014
Through a carefully staged series of ecological, legal, and planning projects, a southern building addition became the focus for the expansion. The challenge was to honor the quaint but unconventional architecture of the existing building to create a new, productive synthesis of form that remained vernacular, but responsive to the complexity of use.
A large gallery space mimics the original high ceiling space and distributes volumetric drama within the expanded facility. With ambient clerestory windows and a sensitive light design, the new gallery allows flexibility for display and a multitude of educational, performance, and community gatherings. A mediating arrival space bisects the two open areas, old and new, and accommodates visitor arrival, increasing its welcoming capacity. A new connecting eave operates as tissue that literally integrates with the original building’s geometry, defining an exterior space that further promotes the institution’s outward mission.
Photography: Bill Lindhout Photography