Colgate University has agreed to move forward with a David Adjaye–designed addition to its Hamilton, New York, campus. The decision to fund the $21 million project by the university’s board of trustees comes nearly a year after it was first unveiled. Adjaye’s Center for Art and Culture (CAC) will replace a hardware store. The design features three interconnected boxes, each of which are clad in precast concrete fins that resemble the tone of the adjacent masonry buildings.
The three volumes join at angles and take up about half of the lot, allowing ample space for a courtyard or sculpture garden that runs the length of the site, from Utica Street to Madison Street. Adjaye uses large expanses of glass alongside the CAC’s courtyard-facing walls to increase natural light within the building and to let passersby engage with the interior artwork. When presenting the project to the public last summer, the architect said that using uplighting instead of flood lighting would make the CAC appear like an illuminated jewel box.
To further embed the CAC within the Village of Hamilton itself, one of the three buildings is designated as a community space for hosting public functions. This piece of the CAC, which stands 15 feet tall and fronts Utica Street, connects to the new Longyear Museum of Anthropology and the Picker Art Gallery. Both of these venues contain 30-foot-high spaces for exhibitions and special projects, as well as archives and seminar rooms.
“The scheme acknowledges the geometry of the existing buildings on the site and the asymmetry of downtown Hamilton’s roads,” said Adjaye Associates in a statement. “The volumes follow the scale of the village, with each element accommodating a specific function, while allowing for fluidity between.”
Syracuse.com reported that Colgate received a $750,000 New York State Regional Development Council grant for the project. Construction is slated to start this summer.