Malane Benedetto's design work carefully balances the aesthetic, environmental, social, and economic aspects of each unique project. The studio's design process is guided by the belief that every piece of architecture has the potential to establish a strong sense of place. With a particular focus on cultural and residential buildings, Malane Benedetto's work considers context and materiality, simplicity and efficiency as the essential tenets of successful design.
The FAR Center for Contemporary Arts, located in the vibrant midwestern city of Bloomington, Indiana serves as the relocation of Pictura Gallery, a nationally recognized center for photography and education. The complex integrates Pictura's dedicated gallery space with a multi-purpose theatre/event space, library, and garden. The project is currently in construction.
Project Team: Lead Designers - Lauren Bordes & Evan Cerilli; Project Architect - Puzzello Architecture Practice; General Contractor - Foursquare Construction
The design of Pictura Gallery's new home places careful emphasis on all surfaces of a space for showing art. From floor, wall, window, to ceiling, treatments were considered in terms of the future artwork, primarily photography. Natural and artificial light are carefully balanced to minimize glare and reflection and to create an optimal viewing experience. The design of the ceiling's subtle coffers quote the grand geometry of the existing building's original steel bow trusses (shown below) to playfully soften the scale of the overall space.
The Theatre at FAR is both magestic and unembellished. This space was constructed in the 1920s as a grocery store and features the building's original steel bow trusses, wood ceiling and utility brick. Little design was required, however, the Theatre acquired a new concrete floor, a full-height feature wall, lighting and HVAC. These updates maintain the space's historic qualities while creating a blank slate for the display of all forms of contemporary art.
The Garden at FAR is framed by the building's existing brick facade and the new anthra-zinc clad addition. It is positioned as a space of both meditation and gathering. In the near future, plantings will adorn the outdoor trellis to offer a softened and shaded area just beside the curated interior environments.