Rubenstein Arts Center

Duke University • Durham, North Carolina

A Hub for Artistic Production

Known as “the Ruby,” Duke University’s new Rubenstein Arts Center was designed to inspire creativity and support cross-disciplinary programs. A paneled glass façade fosters a celebration of “art in action,” animating the campus with views of dance rehearsals and visual arts activities. The two-story, 71,000-square-foot complex features a 200-seat black box theater, a 100-seat film theater, dance rehearsal space, video production studios, flexible production studios and makerspace, painting and drawing studios, classrooms, a radio station, and lounge spaces.

Mueller Associates’ mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design supports the building’s flexibility, with spaces ranging from the glass-enclosed dance cube with radiant heat to visual arts studios that require special ventilation. The “Ruby Lounge,” a multipurpose performance space, uses pipe grids installed at the ceiling level to allow for flexible lighting systems. The HVAC system is designed to accommodate the higher loads associated with major productions. Acoustical challenges were also addressed with carefully specified duct sizes that accommodate acoustical treatments and silencers that attenuate sound throughout the duct system.

Client History

2018: Medical Center Physical Therapy Education Building; Ayers Saint Gross
2017: Arts Center; William Rawn Associates
2014: Phase II School of Nursing; Ayers Saint Gross
2006: Phase I School of Nursing; Ayers Saint Gross

View additional Performing Arts and Education projects

  • With the Ruby, we have fabulous facilities that enable departments and student organizations to engage more seriously with the arts.

    Scott Lindroth
    Vice Provost for the Arts, Duke University
  • With the Ruby, we have fabulous facilities that enable departments and student organizations to engage more seriously with the arts.

    Scott Lindroth
    Vice Provost for the Arts, Duke University