Page B1.1 . 15 June 2005                     
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    Cast Glass Centerpiece

    by James McCown

    Take a spicy mixture of the visual and performing arts; add a wide range of support from university, government and civic sources; cover with an unusual application of glass and stir; serves 250,000. That's the "recipe" for the Shaw Center for the Arts, which Baton Rouge, Louisiana is counting on to lift its civic profile.

    This building might seem more likely in Rotterdam or Paris than in a medium-sized, generally conservative southern U.S. city. Its form was driven by a complex program that sought to accommodate the two lead "anchor" institutions, the Louisiana State University Museum of Art and the Manship Performing Arts Center.

    At one end of the building, a 322-seat theater is served by a fly loft at the upper reaches. The opposite end stretches north over the lobby and extends as a cantilever above the 1930s-era "Auto Hotel" parking garage and terminates with an upward thrust that marks a clerestory window for the museum's changing-exhibition gallery. A clear glazed central space serves as the main entrance for the entire complex.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    The glass-clad Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, designed by Schwartz/Silver Architects, Eskew + Dumez + Ripple, and Jerry M. Campbell and Associates.
    Photo: Timothy Hursley, The Arkansas Office

    ArchWeek Image

    Main entrance from the riverside plaza.
    Photo: Timothy Hursley, The Arkansas Office

     

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