Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center, Durham, North Carolina

Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park, North Carolina Museum of Art Building, Architecture

Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center, Durham, North Carolina

The Ruby Building NC, USA – design by William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.

Jul 16, 2018

Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center, Durham, North Carolina

Design: William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.

Location: 2020 Campus Drive, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center, Durham, North Carolina

DUKE UNIVERSITY RUBENSTEIN ARTS CENTER | Durham, North Carolina | 2018

ENCOURAGING INTERDISCIPLINARITY

The Rubenstein Arts Center, dubbed “The Ruby,” reinvents the role of the arts within the university, extending Duke University’s culture of interdisciplinary study in science, engineering and medicine to the arts.

Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center, Durham, North Carolina

The project’s ambitious mission, “a place that is all about the creative arts in the broadest and most expansive sense… a place where dancers are collaborating with engineers and anthropologists, actors creating with musicians, and documentary film makers interacting with humanists” led to an architecture rooted in immersion, flexibility, openness, and balanced natural light.

FLEXIBLE STUDIO MODULES:

Twelve flexible studio modules are tightly arranged around a central gathering space and outdoor working yard. Each studio module is deliberately non-departmental and broadly equipped to allow different disciplines to change venues or work together without impediment.

Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center, Durham, North Carolina

Three special modules are at the heart of the building:

• The 200 seat von der Heyden Studio Theater accommodates collaborations with a flexible and easily reconfigurable layout. Abundant north light and views of the surrounding Duke woods recognizes the role of the space for art exhibits, theater and dance rehearsals, set-building, teaching and lectures, and can be “blacked-out” with shades for performances as needed.

• At the Second Floor, the glassy Dance Cube projects toward campus and surrounds a central outdoor entrance courtyard. The transparent space, protected by perforated aluminum sunshades, showcases artistic activity to the university.

• A 100 seat Film Screening Room opens directly off the east lobby and can also serve as a lecture hall for classes and visiting artists.

Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center, Durham, North Carolina

LARGE GLAZED OPENINGS AND BARN DOORS:

Each flexible studio opens itself to the life of the building through large glazed openings and acoustically treated barn doors. Barn doors have three modes:

• Fully open, enabling broad physical connections between studios and public spaces;

• Partially open, with acoustical privacy but visually transparent through double-glazed sidelights;

• Fully closed, with interior panels to close the studios for activities requiring privacy.

AN INDUSTRIAL, LIGHT FILLED “WORKING STUDIO”:

On the inside, polished concrete floors and exposed white painted structural and mechanical systems support the “maker” culture of the building.

Natural light is introduced throughout the building from multiple directions to infuse the building with an even balanced daylight and views out to campus.

Bold colors throughout the building are inspired by the artist Robert Mangold’s work, notable for his use of an “industrial” color palette. “I am attracted to generic or ‘industrial’ colors, paper bag brown, file cabinet grey, industrial green, that kind of thing”.

Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center, Durham, North Carolina

PIONEER OF A NEW CAMPUS:

The Ruby is the first academic building on Duke’s new Central Campus and is located directly across from the Nasher Museum of Art, whose horizontally textured precast concrete panels clad five art galleries arranged around a skylit atrium. At the Ruby, the individual flexible studio modules are expressed through precast panels that reference the Nasher Museum. However, the building turns the diagram inside out, orienting the studios and lobbies dramatically outward to campus. A 45’ high metal trellis covers a south facing entrance plaza, itself an extension of the lobby, making the arts visible and seamlessly connected to campus.

Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center building plan layout

Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center, Durham, North Carolina – Building Information

Architects: William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.
Client: Duke University
General Contractor: Skanska USA Building Inc.

Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center, Durham, North Carolina images / information from The Chicago Athenaeum

Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center, Durham, North Carolina is one of over 100 shortlisted architcetural projects to win at the prestigious 2018 American Architecture Awards:

American Architecture Awards 2018

Address: 2020 Campus Dr, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Phone: +1 919-660-1700


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Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center, Durham, North Carolina

Website: Duke University Rubenstein Arts Center