Arkell Art Center
Canajoharie, NY 2007
  • Ann Beha Architects
  • designLAB Architects
  • Jonathan Hillyer
  • Stimson

The Arkell Art Center is located on a seven-acre post-industrial site in the village of Canajoharie, on the banks of the Mohawk River. The museum weaves the site’s layers of manufacturing, art and patronage into a program of new and old elements. The project involved the renovation of a historic library, a modern gallery addition, and courtyards, an extensive parking area, field house, and open lawns for town gatherings. A long site canal was proposed as an organizing element and to recall the Erie Canal that once ran directly adjacent to the site on the southern edge. Abstracted landforms recalling geological eskers were used to frame views and create a separate landscape setting for art display and civic function. These elements, in coordination with the glowing boxes of the museum buildings extend the presence of the Art Center to the village and the adjacent New York State Thruway.