Higher Education, Theatre + Performing Arts

Brown University

Granoff Center for the Creative Arts

Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Providence, Rhode Island
36,000 SF
2012 LEED Gold
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Brown University Granoff Center 01
© Iwan Baan/Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Brown University Granoff Center 03
© Iwan Baan/Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Brown University Granoff Center 02
© Iwan Baan/Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro


  • 2011 Honor Award, Excellence in Architecture for a New Building, The Society for College and University Planning with AIA-Committee on Architecture for Education (SCUP/AIA-CAE) 

A new campus focal point for multidisciplinary studies.

Founded in 1764, Brown University is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Brown is internationally known as a preeminent research university and for its Open Curriculum. Home of the Brown Arts Initiative, the Granoff Center serves as a catalyst for collaboration and experimentation among the arts, sciences, and humanities. The facility features a 200-seat auditorium, flexible production spaces, recording studio and multimedia lab, a virtual environment and physical media lab. There are multiple project studios, a “smart” classroom, and a gallery for exhibitions and installation. The Center creates a new focal point on campus for the multidisciplinary exchange of ideas. It is centrally located along “The Walk,” a green corridor linking Brown’s old campus with the former Pembroke Campus.

External “Venetian blinds” and a folded building skin were designed to reduce solar heat gain and to provide control of natural lighting for the building interior. Heating and cooling systems were designed to utilize the central campus chilled water and high temperature hot water systems. The air system in the recital hall, delivering air at the floor, was designed to minimize air noise to achieve the acoustical performance requirement.