MacDowell’s library is an essential extension of the studios’ function, offering an inspiring space for artists-in-residence to explore new directions in their work. Responding to the evolving needs of artists and their work, a new Media Center will be built to adjoin MacDowell’s Savidge Library. As a whole, the complex will be a new type of library: a multidisciplinary center for contemporary arts presentation, research, and discourse.
When completed in late 2012, the new library will…
- Double capacity for the library’s collection of works by Colony Fellows, which currently numbers more than 10,000 items, by adding more than 3,000 square feet of floor space and 700 linear feet of shelving.
- Include versatile multimedia workstations, including a digital projector for artist presentations, a flat panel monitor for small collaborative gatherings, and two sonically isolated rooms for private viewing and listening.
- Connect artists with unlimited sources of inspiration beyond the Colony through high-speed Internet access suitable for streaming media.
- Remain true to the traditional role of the library by including private study areas for introspective tasks throughout the facility.
|New Library, floorplan. Image: TWBTA|
Informed by extensive feedback from Colony Fellows and detailed interviews with staff members, renowned architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have designed an imaginative, resourceful, and welcoming new Media Center for MacDowell that will complement the existing library. As a beacon of creative activity, the new complex will encourage open discourse between artists of diverse disciplinary backgrounds and connect residents with the works of those who have come before.
Resident artists require a library for quiet study and presentations of works-in-progress to their fellow artists-in-residence — divergent uses that require distinct spaces. Anticipating the simultaneous roles to be served by the library, Williams and Tsien have created a series of intimate spaces where Colony Fellows can work with MacDowell’s multidisciplinary collection.
A careful restoration of Savidge Library will integrate the old with the new, creating a sustainable library complex clad in locally quarried granite. A new mechanical system serving both buildings will assure energy efficiency throughout the complex, and building envelope improvements will further reduce the library’s carbon footprint.