Sarah Lawrence College Monika A. and Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Visual Arts Center

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Sarah Lawrence College Monika A. and Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Visual Arts Center

The Heimbold Center establishes a dynamic interdisciplinary environment for the visual arts – a truly unified environment that inspires creativity, fosters an intensive dialogue between students and faculty, and breaks down barriers between arts disciplines.

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The structure provides a flexible framework for an intensive and creative world, one that can transform to provide for a wide variety of approaches, personalities and teaching methodologies over time.

Susan T. Rodriguez, Design Partner
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The building is integrated into the topography of its hilltop site adjacent the two-story, fieldstone President’s house: on the south a stepped grass-covered rooftop reduces the overall impact of the building on the natural environment and creates a new outdoor public focal point for the campus.

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To encourage movement through the building and provide all students visual access to the creative process, the design incorporates pre-existing pedestrian paths between classroom facilities on the historic campus and dormitories to its west.

Glass affords visual transparency and maximizes daylighting within. Glass garage doors open to the landscaped terrace from the studios, critique spaces and café, achieving a physical permeability that blurs the distinction between landscape and architecture.

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Art education makes sense only if art is conceived to be as central to life and to education as any other activity, and is not merely tolerated as a ‘cultural ornament’.

Kurt Roesch, Painter, Faculty Member 1934-1972
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Studio spaces for painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, film/new media, visual fundamentals, art history and visual culture are specific to each discipline; production spaces are accessible to all students, and general critique spaces, seminar rooms, technology clusters, teaching and exhibit spaces are interspersed throughout the building.

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The building’s primary materials – locally-quarried fieldstone, cedar, channel glass and zinc – were inspired by the campus’s rich landscape and its historic architecture. 


Bronxville, NY
59,857 GSF
Classrooms, Critique Space, Exhibit Space, Studio, Production Space, Seminar Room, Technology Cluster
LEED Certified


Ennead Team
Susan T. Rodriguez, Timothy Hartung, Joanne Sliker, Jeff Miles, John Lowery, Charmian Place, Gary Anderson, Chris Andreacola, Greg Haley, Elliott Hodges, Yama Karim, Tara Leibenhaut-Tyre, Leonard Leung, Harry Park, Kevin Rice, Ivan Rupnik, James Sinks
Richard Barnes, Stefen Turner, Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects


  • 2008
    • Educational Facility Design Honor Award, AIA/New York Chapter Building Type Award
    • Sustainable Design Merit Award, AIA/New York Chapter Building Type Award
  • 2005
    • Award for Excellence in Design, AIA/New York State
    • AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects
    • First Honor Award, AIA Westchester/Mid-Hudson
    • Sustainable Design Award, AIA Westchester/Mid-Hudson
  • 2004
    • Higher Education Merit Award, Best of 2004, New York Construction


  • 2008
    • "Dynamic Fine Arts or Fine Arts and Performing Arts buildings" (SNCArt Blog, 11/13/2008)
  • 2005
    • Koch, Christina. "The View from Above" (Eco-Structure, 9/2005)
    • Solomon, Nancy B. "The Pick of the Sustainable Crop" (Architectural Record, 7/2005)
  • 2004
    • Genocchio, Benjamin. "At Sarah Lawrence, Visual Arts Center Breaks Barriers" (The New York Times, 10/31/2004)
    • Merkel, Jayne. "Image: Today's Big Man on Campus" (Architectural Record, 4/2004)
    • "Heimbold Visual Arts Center to Feature Green Elements" (New York Construction, 5/2004)