Vassar College Francis Lehman Art Center Courtyards & Sculpture Garden

Vassar College Francis Lehman Art Center Courtyards & Sculpture Garden

Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

CLIENT Vassar College / STATUS Completed 1994 / SIZE 2,900 SF (entry & sculpture courtyards), 8,600 SF (sculpture garden) / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Pelli Clarke Pelli

At Vassar College, two courtyards and a sculpture garden connect a 1913 art center building to later additions. Voids play against built solids. Traditional and modern materials combine to integrate old and new.

A stone and aluminum bench in the entry court terminates the axis from the new entry pavilion that leads to a sculpture courtyard. This courtyard, an intimate, glass-enclosed space, was designed as a visual extension of the reception area within the art center. Its rotating sculptures sit on a bed of yellow gravel. In the sculpture garden, a large L-shaped area and paved sections intersects with a delicately planted space. Red-leafed plantings ring the garden's perimeter and were chosen as background color for the monochromatic metal sculptures that will be exhibited.