Steven Holl

Lewis Center for the Arts . Princeton University

Steven Holl . lewis center for the arts . princeton university (1)

Steven Holl Architects . photos ⓒ Paul Warchol

The new Lewis Arts complex, designed by Steven Holl Architects in partnership with BNIM Architects, opens with a four-day Arts Festival. The complex creates a new campus gateway, shaping campus space while maximizing porosity and movement.


The program for The Lewis Center for the Arts includes, a theatre and dance building, an arts building, and a music building with instrumental rehearsal and practice rooms. All three buildings are integrated in a forum below ground. The project aims to create a new campus gateway; shaping campus space while maximizing porosity and movement from all sides.

Overlook views into the dance and theatre practice spaces and the orchestral rehearsal space are aimed at provoking curiosity and interaction. As an open public invitation, this gateway space aims to connect the local community to the University.

Each of the three buildings’ interiors is developed uniquely.

The Wallace Dance Building and Theater is developed according to the idea of a “thing within a thing”. Within the overall concrete frame, the black-box theatre is comprised of steel, while the dance theatres are foamed aluminum, white washed wood and board formed concrete. A “dancing stair” connects all levels.

The Arts Building is developed with an embedded concept by its concrete and stone tower connecting to Princeton’s historic Blair Arch.

The Music Building is developed according to an idea of “suspension”. Above the large orchestral rehearsal room individual practice rooms are suspended on steel rods. Acoustically separate, these individual wooden chambers have a resonant quality.

Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University
– Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl, Noah Yaffe (design architects)
Noah Yaffe (partner in charge)
Nathan Rich (project architect)
Christina Yessios (assistant project architect)
Scott Fredricks, Gary He, Martin Kropac, JongSeo Lee, David Alan Ross, Alfonso Simelio, Asami Takahashi, Arseni Timofejev (project team)
Chris McVoy, Noah Yaffe, Ebbie Wisecarver, Christina Yessios (competition team)
associate architects
– BNIM Architects
structural engineer
– Ove Arup & Partners
MEP engineer
– Ove Arup & Partners
landscape architect
– Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates
theatrical systems consultant
– Auerbach Pollack Friedlander
– Ove Arup & Partners
facade consultant
– Front Inc.

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