Bethlehem Steel in Pennsylvania was once the second-largest steel producer in the world, making it a symbol of America's industrial might. But after a long decline, the company closed the doors to the Bethlehem, PA plant in 1995. The facility had been abandoned for more than a decade before Spillman Farmer Architects converted it into a magnificent art campus. Dubbed ArtsQuest Center, the 68,000-square-foot building has been converted into a vibrant public space for people to experience arts and culture in a gritty, post-industrial setting.
With a raw, industrial aesthetic, Spillman Farmer Architects have transformed the abandoned steel factory into a major arts hub. Made from locally manufactured, pre-cast concrete panels, glass and — off course — steel, the contrast between the industrial ruins and the internal human scale is always present. To provide some warmth in the space, native Pennsylvania Ash wood was used for some of the interiors, including reception desks and walls.
The industrial spirit of the former factory can be found in every detail, from the massive steel beams, helicoidal stairs and the views to the now silent furnaces. For the art center, the builders used steel made on the Bethlehem Steel site, which has been painted a striking ‘International Orange.’ A hybrid building, ArtsQuest Center provides space for art performances, exhibitions and cinema.
Photos © Spillman Farmer Architects
Via Arch Daily