Woodruff Arts Center

by | 07. Aug 2012

Cultural | Feature

Photo © Jonathan Hillyer Photography Inc.


The new High and Woodruff Arts campus creates a “Village for the Arts” where visitors can experience the finest art, music and theatre in the city.


Photo © Jonathan Hillyer Photography Inc.

Three new buildings, surrounding a public piazza, more than double the Museum’s size allowing the High to display more of its growing collection, increase public programs and offer new visitor amenities to address the needs of larger and more diverse audiences.

The Susan and John Wieland Pavilion, the largest of the three buildings, houses part of the High’s permanent collection and special exhibitions. The Pavilion features an expansive lobby with an outdoor terrace, retail shop, coffee bar and visitor amenities. Glass-enclosed bridges link the current High building to the Pavilion lobby and skyway levels.


Photo © Jonathan Hillyer Photography Inc.

The Wieland Pavilion serves as the new main entrance to the Museum.

The second building, the Anne Cox Chambers Wing for special collections, features a glass-enclosed lobby and two floors of gallery space. Bridges connect to the Wieland Pavilion on the second and skyway levels.


Photo © Jonathan Hillyer Photography Inc.


The Anne Cox Chambers Wing, John Wieland Pavilion, and Richard Meier building.
The third building, the Administrative Center, provides office space for staff. The three buildings frame the Sifly Piazza with Table 1280 Restaurant and Tapas Lounge opposite the entrance to the main pavilion.


Photo © Jonathan Hillyer Photography Inc.


Piano designed the new buildings to complement and link seamlessly to the High’s existing building. All three are clad in panels of aluminum to unite the complex with the Meier-designed building’s signature white enamel facade.


Photo © Jonathan Hillyer Photography Inc.



Photo © Jonathan Hillyer Photography Inc.



Photo © Jonathan Hillyer Photography Inc.

The Wieland Pavilion and the Anne Cox Chambers Wing centers on a roof system of 1,000 seven-foot-tall light scoops that captures northern light and filter it into the skyway galleries, allowing for natural illumination. Renzo Piano calls these scoops velas. The system features solar cells to trigger supplemental electrical lights in case of clouds or darkness.


Photo © Jonathan Hillyer Photography Inc.


Carefully choreographed to create outdoor piazzas that seamlessly link the High’s buildings with the surrounding exterior public spaces, the landscape plan accommodates several pieces of outdoor sculpture and allow fluid movement through the campus.
The Sifly Piazza is bordered on the south side by a bleached arbor of Athena elms, which will eventually grow together to create a canopy effect.

I wanted to create a light-filled, unified campus that embraces the landscape and engages with its surroundings.
/Renzo Piano

Drawing courtesy Renzo Piano WorkshopSite Plan



Image courtesy High Museum and Woodruff Arts CenterSouth Elevation from Piazza



Photo © Jonathan Hillyer Photography Inc.

The High opened its existing critically acclaimed building designed by Richard Meier in 1983. The building will be renamed the Stent Family Wing.

The expansion of the High included the renovation of the High’s existing building as well as other owner-directed enhancements to the facility and campus. It also included a new state-of-the-art residence hall and sculpture building for the Atanta College of Art. a central campus piazza, campus restaurant and bar, and new parking facilities.


CITY Atlanta, Georgia