Duke University
Rubenstein Arts Center



Rubenstein Arts Center


Duke University


Durham, NC




71,000 GSF


LEED Silver


The Arts, Campus Innovations


The Rubenstein Arts Center, dubbed “The Ruby,” reinvents the role of the arts within the university, extending Duke University’s culture of interdisciplinary study in science, engineering and medicine to the arts. Twelve flexible studio modules are tightly arranged around a central gathering space and outdoor working yard.

Each studio module is deliberately non-departmental and broadly equipped to allow different disciplines to change venues or work together without impediment. The focus on convergent studios rather than specialized venues facilitates truly interdisciplinary collaborations.

The Rubenstein Arts Center brings the arts to the center of academic inquiry and campus life. We now have a platform to truly innovate arts education at Duke.

Scott Lindroth, Vice Provost for the Arts


The programming of the building originates in the Provost’s office, ensuring that no single department controls access to the studios and resulting in a building that is free to be non-curricular and experimental. The University’s commitment to bringing people together across traditional disciplinary boundaries creates a culture of art-making at Duke that is immersive, collaborative, and – by extension – becomes an engine for the changes we wish to see in our society.

In this building art-making is on display at all times, in all forms, and in immersive ways. The building therefore becomes an invitation to participate, amplifying the University’s efforts to promote collaboration. Each flexible studio opens to the life of the building through large glazed openings and a set of acoustically treated barn doors.

A place that is all about the creative arts in the broadest and most expansive sense... a place where dancers are collaborating with engineers and anthropologists, actors creating with musicians, and documentary film makers interacting with humanists.

Strategic Plan

Awards + Press

2022 National AIA Interior Architecture Honor Award

2021 USITT Architecture Merit Award

2020 National AIA-CAE/SCUP Excellence in Architecture for a New Building Award Honorable Mention

2019 BSA Higher Education Facilities Design Honor Award

2018 AIA New England Design Excellence Honor Award

2018 BSA Design Excellence Honor Award

2018 Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award

Project Consultants

Structural Engineer - LeMessurier Consultants, Inc.

Mechanical / Electrical Engineer | Mueller Associates

Civil Engineer | Stewart, Inc.

Landscape Architect | Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architects

Lighting Consultant | Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design

Theater Consultant | Theatre Projects Consultants, Inc.

Acoustical Engineer | Threshold Acoustics, LLC

AV Consultant | Threshold Acoustics, LLC

Photographer | Robert Benson, Alex Boerner, Caroline Cockrell + Jared Lazarus