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Creative Arts and Design Center

Kevin Hart Architecture

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Kevin Hart


50 Valparaiso Avenue





Menlo School


  • Structural Engineer: Hohbach-Lewin
  • General Contractor: Vance Brown Builders

Project Status


Year Completed



40,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost

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Project Description

The School’s vibrant curriculum in music, visual arts and drama has a long-needed home in this new 40,000 gsf building, the second of three masterplanned by KHA. Constrained by a small site, vocal residential neighbors, and a limited budget, the design strategy provides flexible loft spaces focused around a two-story gallery for display and performance.

Three large classrooms are specialized for orchestra, band, and choral music practice, all with excellent acoustical characteristics and tall ceilings achieved by lowering the ground floor five feet below grade. An 84-foot wide painting and sculpture studio is filled with daylight from north-facing windows, and glazed sectional overhead doors open the studio to the gallery. Upstairs, rooms for photography, digital arts, drama and department faculty are accessed from walkways surrounding and bridging the gallery. A trellis, bench and kiln shed define an exterior workspace.

Except for the critical musical instrument rooms, the building is not air conditioned; instead, well-placed operable windows and louvers enable effective cross-ventilation. LEED Silver is targeted.
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