New Construction

Wesleyan Breaks Ground on New Art Gallery

On the campus of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., officials broke ground this week on a new art gallery. The Davison Art Gallery will be the campus’ first new art building since the mid-1970s. The university is partnering with design firm Peterson Rich Office (PRO) and Newman Architects on the project, which is projected for completion in summer 2023 and to open its doors to students for the spring 2024 semester.

The university found itself outgrowing its existing art gallery, the Davison Art Center, which houses a collection of more than 25,000 works of art. The collection was already relocated to the Olin Memorial Library in 2019. The new facility will measure in at 5,550 square feet and was designed as a long, narrow space to fit between the library and the Public Affairs Center.

“The new gallery presents an opportunity to expand the visual arts from the iconic Kevin Roche-designed Center for the Arts to the very heart of the campus,” said PRO founders Nathan Rich and Miriam Peterson. “The building is deliberately designed for interdisciplinary learning and to expose a range of students to this renowned collection.”

The facility will feature an open, glass-walled lobby space and an exterior of red brick and limestone to blend into the surrounding area. An outdoor teaching courtyard and exterior gathering space will serve as active learning environments for a variety of courses. Sustainability initiatives include a green roof, solar panels, in-flooring heating and cooling, motion-sensor lighting, displacement ventilation and a landscape of native plants. The gallery represents PRO’s first full, ground-up project in the education vertical.

The Davison Art Gallery is being constructed simultaneously with renovations to the adjacent Public Affairs Center (PAC). The gallery will be accessible through the PAC as well as via walkways in front of and behind the library.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].