As a shared vision of Dickinson College's administration and arts faculty, the Goodyear Building represents a union between the arts and residential life which enhances the academic community of the College. The Goodyear Building is a former nineteenth century industrial building located on the College's campus. Conceived as 32 "live/work" studios for 118 students, the building combines student housing with art studio spaces, galleries and a community cafe and was designed to provide a common ground for the potential dialogue between two groups of campus residents who might not otherwise learn about each other.
Once numerous additions and modifications were removed from the building, the historic core was revealed to become the starting point for the design process. This core provided an ideal setting for arts studios and student live/work studios because of the building's inherent qualities, such as its narrow width as well as the large windows, including many industrial skylights. One of the design goals was to reveal and celebrate the dialogue between the new features which define the new uses of the building with the beauty of the existing structure. Through a clear understanding and respect of the found condition, an architectural response of simple, cost effective materials articulates the methods of ordinary construction of our time which is both beautiful and appropriate for its new use. The heavy timber construction and exposed masonry are revealed as much as possible to allow the residents to understand the history of the place. This clear articulation of both the new and the old construction methods instructs the residents on how buildings are made.
The building's reuse represents a unique blend of academic and residential life within a single structure which is uncommon on the American campus. This project celebrates the connection of the living, educational and community functions of its new use: a new public passageway incorporates both new and old structures and acts as a street weaving together the exterior public spaces and the interior social spaces such as the cafe and study spaces with the art studios and gallery spaces. The components of the building create a unique and rare student, faculty and community dynamic.