The Gruss Center for Art and Design (GCAD), a new student learning center and visual arts building at the Lawrenceville School, blends the principles of technology and design to create a center for innovation. This new, flexible learning space supports the school’s mission to foster creativity through group collaboration and dynamic testing spaces. ⠀
The design reflects best practices in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education, informed by site visits to corporate innovation hubs, Stanford University, and similar facilities at Yale and MIT according to Sasaki, the project Architect.
Approximately 16,000 sf of work-focused spaces span three levels that include large flexible project rooms for ideation and rapid prototyping, a clean fabrication lab, digital design rooms and collaborative workstations to support team projects, The innovative makerspace provides wood and metal shops equipped with CNC routers, a welding bay, milling machines, and laser cutters, along with traditional manual arts tools. The new enhancements add to the existing building, which continues to house gallery collections and fine arts studio space, as well as landscaped spaces and plazas.
The project was the fourth iteration of the decades-old building that began as the John Dixon Library, which opened in 1931. In 1960, the Carpenter Wing was added to expand the library. The Gruss Center of Visual Arts opened in 1998 to provide a home for the Visual Arts Department