Shaw Center For The Arts
A “lantern on the levee” – a symbol of the illuminating power of the arts.
The Shaw Center for the Arts combines the Louisiana State University Museum of Art with spaces for LSU’s studio arts programs and an important regional center for the performing arts.
The two primary public venues, the LSU Museum of Art and the performing arts theaters, form a single structure that cantilevers over the historic “Auto Hotel.” The hotel was renovated to house classrooms, art studios, curatorial spaces, and a Gallery for the LSU School of Art.
The building, clad in channel glass and aluminium, seems to glow at night; serving both as a metaphor for a revitalized urban district and a “lantern on the levee.”
The glazed 65-feet tall main lobby connects the museum with the theater complex and the spaces within the Auto Hotel.
The different textures and materials used in the design of the plaza, combined with the two interactive fountains, emphasizes the connection with the downtown area.
Two paved terraces on top the buildings provide views over the levee to the Mississippi River and the Old State Capital building Museum.
Several older buildings on the site were preserved, providing space for restaurants, retail uses, and offices, serving as a counterpoint to the dramatic new structure.
The complex has already begun to spur the redevelopment of downtown Baton Rouge by creating a destination, reenergizing the surrounding blocks with new buildings and uses, and bringing a sense of excitement to the city.