EXPRESS NEWARK COMMUNITY ARTS CENTER

Rutgers University—Newark, L+M Development Partners

SUPPORTING, CELEBRATING, & REINFORCING RUTGERS’ CONNECTION TO NEWARK THROUGH THE ARTS

EXPRESS NEWARK COMMUNITY ARTS CENTER

Rutgers University—Newark, L+M Development Partners

NEWARK, NJ

50,000 sf

the opportunity

Express Newark was born of a unique opportunity for Rutgers University to strengthen its relationship with the City of Newark through the creation of an arts-focused community-based educational program. In partnership with Rutgers and L+M Development Partners, KSS transformed 50,000 square feet of the former Hahne & Co. department store building into a “third space” for Newark artists and arts organizations, faculty, staff, and students of Rutgers to create, exhibit, and engage in conversation around arts, entrepreneurship, and social justice.

Our Approach

To design a space that would support, celebrate, and reinforce Rutgers’ connection to Newark’s vibrant arts community, the design team engaged a wide variety of Newark artists, from writers and musicians to oil painters and quilters to explore how they would use the space. It became clear that the print shop would be a hub of activity—as such, it is strategically positioned as a jewel to attract and engage visitors. An iconic circulating stair threads people throughout the spaces to interact with one another. Geometrically distinctive wall angles frame and catalyze spontaneous interactions. A mural splashes across the walls of the print shop, blurring art and architecture.

Our Process

PROGRAMING

Art incubator, Community media center, Portrait studio, Design consortium, and Letterpress studio

Awards

Urban Land Institute Jack Kemp Award



AIA Pennsylvania Design Impact Award