Sarah Lawrence College, Art Center

189  of  374
Sarah Lawrence College, Art Center

East Elevation

Drawings   54  browse all »

Preliminary Plans (Schematics 1-4)
Auditorium: Preliminary Set
Site Plan: Existing Contours

Correspondence   10  browse all »


Photographs   7  browse all »

Dance Studio
Auditorium Seating
Detail of South Elevation

Harold Taylor, the president of Sarah Lawrence College, commissioned a new art center from Breuer in 1951. The art center contained a 500-seat hexagonal theater surrounded by subsidiary spaces like studios, offices, a snack bar and lounge and multiple levels of interconnected walled and paved terraces. Breuer was finally able to incorporate some of the elements of experimental theater that he had been exploring since his competition entry for the Kharkov Theater. Audience participation was encouraged, the seats were removable, partitions could close off or open up space, and the orchestra pit could be raised. Breuer used simple materials such as brick, concrete, fieldstone and terra-cotta flue tiles but created textural interest by perforating a concrete balcony or creating a pattern of raised bricks as an acoustical treatment for a wall in the auditorium. The building was completed in 1952. A few years later, Taylor proposed that Breuer design a dormitory for the school, but the project never progressed beyond this stage.