Pomona College Studio Arts Hall

Claremont, CA

Situated at a semi-rustic edge of the Pomona College campus, the Studio Arts Hall serves as an artful counterpoint to the classic underpinnings of much of the campus architecture. Home to drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and digital arts courses, the building allows daylight and green views to flood the studios. Hallmarks of the project—transparency and porosity—are evidenced by the open quality of the building and the dynamic views of artists at work. Located on the edge of an expansive native Oak woodland, the Studio Arts Hall also serves as a gateway to the historic Sontag Greek Theater.

The language of the building was simply inspiring to work with. And the rich history of the Pomona College site deepened the opportunities to weave a beautiful landscape story directly through the site.

Studies of topography and the historic movement of water through the site became the driver for the artful pavement system.

The notion of water eroding the edges resulted in an articulated concrete pavement treatment whose boundaries merge with planting. Low impact development strategies and an efficient irrigation system make the most of Claremont’s infrequent rains and reduce water use.

The central courtyard functions as a working outdoor studio and serves as a transition between the developed landscape and the Oaks.

The design elevates and honors the art education it houses while maximizing flexibility for faculty and students to collaborate and explore making and exhibiting art in the landscape.