On the banks of the Fox River in De Pere, Wisconsin, the Mulva Cultural Center is set to become a leading institution for civic and creative engagement in the Midwest. Spearheaded by philanthropists and De Pere natives James J. and Miriam B. Mulva, the center will offer world-class cultural experiences, elevating the creative and architectural landscape in the Greater Green Bay Area. As a new home for the creative arts, the Mulva Cultural Center will host traveling exhibitions from leading institutions worldwide, diverse cultural programming, educational opportunities for people of all ages, and more. Clad in a curtain of transparent glass, the SOM-designed center will serve as a destination and cultural nexus for the city, with an array of spaces designed to celebrate De Pere’s vibrant creative community.
As visitors arrive to the Mulva Cultural Center, its transparent design will provide an elegant transition from outdoor to indoor spaces, creating visual connections from day to night and allowing the building to serve as a lantern on the river. Inside, an expansive, open-air atrium spans the building’s three stories, creating opportunities for new connections between cultural programs. A 200-seat auditorium, 300-person event space, flexible permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, classrooms, a café, and outdoor terrace and indoor gathering spaces will provide new venues for cultural engagement.
Supported by a sophisticated structural system designed to maximize daylight and minimize material use and visibility, the architecture of the Mulva Cultural Center will provide an elegant background for the institution’s diverse programming. A palette of native stone, timber, glass, and neutral metals will define the space, inspired by its location adjacent to the river on the Wisconsin prairies.
A landscape designed by the Office of James Burnett completes the building’s connection to the river and region, featuring a lush greenspace replete with local plants and grasses. Designed to serve the community, the landscape at the Mulva Cultural Center incorporates pedestrian pathways, public spaces, and multimodal-oriented infrastructure designed to increase connectivity to the site, the river, and the city.