The Board of Trustees of Beloit College has selected 2013 National Design Award winner Studio Gang Architects to lead in its efforts to convert a century old Power Plant into an Activity and Recreation Center.
From the Architects:
“This project should be a model—for connecting college to community, campus to river, and our city’s past to its future,” Beloit President Scott Bierman said. “This is a vision Studio Gang is already helping shape and make possible. We are thrilled to see what they can teach us, discover, and do for the college and our region.”
Chicago-based Studio Gang is recognized as one of architecture’s most innovative, well regarded, and closely watched firms—and one uniquely interested in projects aimed at connecting, enhancing, and restoring urban and natural landscapes. The firm is led by MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, FAIA. In just the last year, Gang and her firm have been the subject of a solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago and feted in the Wall Street Journal Magazine (“A Renegade Architect Connects Cities and the Natural World”). In September, Gang and Managing Principal Mark Schendel accepted the 2013 National Design Award in Architecture from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum at a White House reception. Studio Gang’s work is designed to resonate with its specific site and culture while addressing larger global themes such as reuse and sustainability.
A selection committee comprised of Beloit trustees, staff, faculty, and students selected Studio Gang “for their creativity, talent, vision, and care, but most of all—their enthusiasm for approaching this project as both collaborator and partner, learner and leader,” said committee co-chair and Dean of Students Christina Klawitter. Gang was one of five national firms approached (“recruited,” Klawitter says) for the project. The committee presented their selection to Bierman and the trustees at the October 5 meeting of the board in Beloit, which convened in the college’s LEED Platinum-certified Center for the Sciences building, whose northwest corner sits a little more than 100 yards away from the power plant.
“The Studio Gang team is very excited to partner with Beloit College,” stated Jeanne Gang. “Together we can transform this historic structure into a new hub for wellness, green power, and great architecture. By reflecting Beloit’s core values in the design, values shared by our team, we will create a model that will bring many benefits to the college, city, and region. This is a project that has the potential to inspire other communities around the globe.”