Center for Film Studies & Cinema Archives, Wesleyan University

Middletown, CT

Phase 1: 16,000 SF
Phase 2: 8,900 SF

Phase 1: $4.5 million
Phase 2: $4.2 million


Capitalizing on a central theme of light in motion, JCJ successfully married the existing facility – an existing Victorian era farmhouse - with modern design to create a new state-of-the-art education, research and conservation facility. Located on a transitional site between the University and a historic residential district, the new light-filled center consolidates program resources and supports nearly 100 classes and 70 majors.

The new facility provides flexible teaching spaces for film theory and history along with 16mm film, digital video, and virtual film production; preserves and protects the growing collections of the Cinema Archives; and provides appropriate space for scholarly research of the collections. Placement of the screening theatre at an angle behind the current archives diminishes its size and scale within the neighborhood. Brick and limestone materials were chosen for their compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood and campus. An enclosed atrium serves as an informal gathering space between the Center and Cinema Archives, which are linked with a glass connector.

Phase 1 included classrooms, faculty offices, equipment storage and a 400-seat screening theatre. The gallery enables the program to display collections from more than 20 key figures in American film history, including Academy-Award Winners Clint Eastwood, Frank Capra and Martin Scorsese.

Phase 2 includes a 125-seat cinema, 5,000 square feet of climate controlled archival storage and additional support and projection space.

AIA Connecticut Chapter, Design Award, 2004
American School and University, Citation Award, 2009