The Bente Torjusen West Sculptural Studies Building and Kelsey Stone Carving Studio
The Bente Building represents the future of sculpture in the Upper Valley — a safe and sustainable space accessible to all. It is a working building, designed and ruggedly built to LEED Gold standards to spark the imagination of the artists and the community who will create here. The Bente Building is really all about the people who make art part of our everyday lives.
The Bente Torjursen West Sculptural Studies Building (nick-named simply “the Bente Building”) is a 4,000 square-foot, custom-designed, purpose-built facility constructed to very high standards of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. It features a stone carving studio; a wood-working studio; a “hot” studio for metal working, metal and glass forging, welding, and encaustics; a core studio of workbenches and ceramics stations; an outdoor patio/studio; as well as a green roof sculpture garden. The main floor, the outdoor patio and the parking lots are all designed as uniformly graded surfaces to facilitate accessibility and the movement of large, heavy objects and equipment. The building holds a variety of environmentally responsible MEP and HVAC infrastructure, health and safety systems including prismatic skylights, smart LED lighting, intelligent heat exchangers, motion-sensing air handling, dust collection, pneumatics, and water filtration systems. A Photo-Voltaic solar array of 104 panels provides almost all the electrical energy required to operate the building. (A 36-panel PV array has also been installed on the previously renovated Carter-Kelsey Building.)
Select master-sculptor-led workshops are slowly being rolled out as experimental pilot programs to assist in the development of safety, operating, and educational protocols and procedures for the new studio spaces. Classes and workshops in sculptural studies will be offered to the public in the fall of 2017. The Bente Building studios are already in limited use by AVA’s member master sculptor artists.