Kupferberg Center for the Arts

Queens College, City University of New York

Flushing, New York

The Kupferberg Center for the Arts was established by Queens College as an umbrella organization coordinating public performance and presentation of the arts for the college community, the wider neighborhood of Queens and beyond.  Physically the Center had been cobbled together from a collection of disparate existing college buildings, primarily built in the 1950s, 60s and 70s – particularly bleak decades for the design of “Public Works”.

As a result, the designs of the existing Kupferberg Center venues, the Goldstein Theater, Colden Auditorium, LeFrak Concert Hall, Colden Amphitheater and the Godwin-Ternbach Museum ranged from the non-descript to the utilitarian to the postmodern and shared no recognizable or common features reinforcing the presence of an arts center on campus.  The Center existed as an administrative entity rather than a physical presence.

The redesign of the these somewhat unloved buildings was the centerpiece of a larger branding initiative geared at creating a unified and identifiable “arts precinct” for Queens College: announcing its presence, making a bold statement of its identity and, in that way, drawing in a larger audience from the student body and the city as a whole. Adhering to the College’s and the Kupferberg family’s requests, quality and impactful design was prioritized for the rebranding of the Center.

The program focused on the public areas of the buildings with a goal of increasing visibility of the center and improving visitor amenities. think! utilized a series of large scale and bold architectural transformations, a common palette of modern materials [slightly varied at each venue], highly visible signage and environmental graphics and a unifying landscaped design to craft a new audience experience and expressing the higher artistic standards of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts.