Mellon Hall, St. John’s College
Annapolis, Maryland

The Mitchell Art Gallery is part of a 10,000 s.f. addition to Mellon Hall, designed in 1959 by modernist architect Richard Neutra.  The art gallery provides museum quality space for exhibits on loan from national and international museums.  The design features sun control options, and a mechanical system that maintains strict museum quality temperature and humidity standards.  The design of the gallery softens the austerity of the massive Mellon Hall, and begins the development of a traditional collegiate quadrangle for the campus.

The gallery consists of two rooms:  a main room to exhibit large paintings and sculpture, and a small exhibition room without exposure to natural sunlight.  The main room is defined by four large display walls that are faced on the exterior with Indiana limestone.  The corners are transparent, allowing views from the interior back to the historic campus.  The addition is both sympathetic to the Neutra building and distinctly elegant.  The addition was awarded the 1989 Citation of Merit from the American Institute of Architects.

In addition to the new art gallery, Bohl Architects designed a renovation and addition to the existing Paul Mellon Hall.  One of the features of this project is the Conversation Room, which was redesigned to facilitate a post lecture discussion period.  The space was designed and acoustically engineered so that the unamplified voice could be heard from anywhere in the room. The raised floor area around the room allows unrestricted site lines and a variety of involvement in the discussion activities.  Our custom five-part table allows a variety of configurations, yet anchors the room for focused discussion.