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Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College

Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates

Shared By

dmadsen, hanley wood, llc

Project Name

Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College

Project Status


Year Completed



39,200 sq. feet

Construction Cost



Oberlin College

Project Description


For Oberlin College, VSBA designed a large extension to a distinguished building designed by Cass Gilbert. To fit the confines of its narrow, constricted site, we placed the addition asymmetrically to the existing building. Particular attention was given to making the addition harmonize with Gilbert’s symmetrical Renaissance pavilion. This was accomplished not through imitation but through the careful matching of materials -- buff colored brick, red sandstone, and pink granite, which were used to produce a pattern and scale in contrast with yet analogous to the original building.
Program requirements for the addition included a 10,000 sf fine arts library, contemporary art gallery, conservation lab, sculpture studios, shops, and study areas. This project also involved renovation of the existing building, especially its mechanical systems, which required the introduction of new environmental systems into a masonry building with no prior humidity controls or cooling system.
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