Proj Overview


The three-level building is situated on a 38-acre site in Sheboygan, Wis., and includes long-term storage, gallery space, photo studio, classrooms, outdoor sculpture gardens, and administrative offices. The building is a response to the artists themselves, many of whom worked outside and used local and accessible materials in their work.

Read more about this project in the Fall 2021 issue of Ascent.


To echo the artwork inside, the design team planned to imbue the exterior with a strong connection to nature. Board-formed architectural precast concrete panels with exposed native river rock was selected.


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Project Team


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KL&A Inc.

Lead Designer

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners




John Michael Kohler Arts Center

Precast Concrete Producer

International Concrete Products

PCI-Certified Erector

Area Erectors

Key Project Attributes

  • With the steep change of grade, the precast concrete panels could only be erected from the north and the south.
  • Given the dramatic grade change across the tight site and with deference to saving as many mature trees as possible, the precast concrete panels could only be installed from two sides.
  • The logistics were a challenge due to the large size of the precast concrete panels
  • The precast concrete wall system was about 30% less expensive than a traditional brick and stone façade.
  • Precast concrete exterior wall panels were installed in a little over a month, which expedited the process to enclose the building.

Project/Precast Scope

  • 86 architectural precast concrete panels
  • The largest panel was 43 × 11 ft and weighed in at 45,000 lb. Most panels were 20 to 30 ft tall and 10 to 12 ft wide.