The site was landscaped for erosion control and planted with native trees and grass plantings. Visitors can easily access the site through public transportation and enjoy parking spots for carpools as well as some with electric vehicle charging stations. The roof harvests rainwater and is coated with a high albedo coating to reflect the sun’s energy. Lighting, ventilation and CO2 sensors monitor the space and adjust the HVAC and lighting to minimize energy.
Grimshaw’s New York team won an international design competition in 2001 to build the arts center, which was completed in 2008. On naming Grimshaw the competition’s winner, Alan Balfour, Dean of the School of Architecture and member of the jury committee, commented, “The distinction of the Grimshaw submission was in seeing the building as an ensemble of instrumental spaces defined by technology. This seemed exactly appropriate to house the range of performances and stimulate new knowledge that Rensselaer will bring to the intersection of the arts with science and technology.”
Images ©Paul Rivera and Peter Aaron