Yale School of Art — found spaces that create departmental identity

New Haven, CT
110,000 square feet
80,000 at 1156 Chapel Street
30,000 at 353 Crown Street
Type: Academic / Arts / Adaptive Reuse
Theme: Transforming Old Buildings / Making & Learning

The building for Yale University’s School of Art and Iseman Theatre arts complex required a gut renovation to Louis I. Kahn’s Jewish Community Center of New Haven, as well as the design and construction of The Annex, a ground-up building connected by a courtyard to the existing structure. We carefully considered how to take spaces in the original building and turn them into hubs for specific arts disciplines.

Each program has a clear identity, while still being part of a whole. The photography department now occupies the old pool area; graphic design is in the former gymnasium; the School of Drama is in the auditorium; art galleries use a pair of joined, double-height handball courts. New architectural detailing and materials are specially designed to withstand the wear and tear of making art.

Original Architect of 1156 Chapel Street – Louis I. Kahn, 1954

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Key People

Deborah Berke

Maitland Jones
Project Lead

Catherine Bird
Project Manager



Robert Silman Associates
Structural Engineers

R.A. Heintges Consultants
Curtain Wall Consultant

Jaffe Holden Scarbrough
Acoustical Engineer

Fisher Dachs Associates
Theater Consultant

Gary Gordon Architectural Lighting
Lighting Designer


Architecture Magazine
June 2001