The Arts and Interpretative Center built for the Arts Guild of Old Forge is a facility designed not only to exhibit art in the Adirondacks, but also to educate visitors about the local ecology and culture. The building itself was designed as a statement to the mission of respecting nature and to exhibit responsible environmental stewardship. The 30,000 square foot facility is strategically sited on an 8-acre site that includes natural wetlands and interpretive nature trails.
The design integrates a pre-existing garage building to join with new construction. This old garage now houses pottery and painting studios as well as apartments for in-residence artists. The main portion of the building includes several art galleries, a 200 seat auditorium, a small commercial kitchen, an Eco Gallery with a running water stream display, classrooms, retail shop and a visitor information center.
The building is LEED™ Silver certified by the USGBS. The energy efficiency features include a geothermal heat pump system utilizing a closed loop heat exchanger of 48 bores at 260 feet in depth. Interior water-to-air and water-to-water heat pumps serve all comfort HVAC systems in the building as well as making domestic hot water. Energy recovery ventilators are used for ventilation systems. The lighting is all designed to meet high-energy efficiency goals and uses programmed lighting controls. A 20 Kw photovoltaic system is included in the design and is prominently displayed on grade mounted structures placed strategically around the site.