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Boise, Idaho

Gem Center For the Arts


The Gem Center for the Arts project is an artist hub and office located in a commercial/residential neighborhood on the Bench.  The building program is comprised of (25) Artist studios, Classrooms, Gallery/Exhibit, Blackbox Theater, and offices contained in a 25,000 s.f. 4 story building.  The project is a major renovation of a 1972 Brutalist style four story building originally designed by Maxey Tookey Architects, owned and operated by the Gem Building, LLC.  It is a private/non-profit partnership with a mission of providing a home for working artists to produce, collaborate and showcase work that supports the vibrant, diverse, creative community of Boise, ID.  Entitlements with the City were required to accommodate the new mixed uses of the building and it was re-zoned from LO-D to C2-D/DA.


The key highlights of this major renovation including:

  • a complete gutting of 2/3 of the building including recycling and diverting all possible construction waste and materials

  • including diverting hazardous waste

  • donating and recycling exiting building materials to local building material re-use stores,

  • a new TPO, Roof plus 5” Polyiso (R-32.5) insulation

  • complete electrical re-wiring

  • LED Lighting with integrated daylighting and

  • occupancy controls

  • grind and polish concrete floors

  • new interior walls and sidelights improved daylight

  • New fire suppression and fire alarm system

  • Improved life safety (vertical exit enclosure)

  • New drinking fountains, and (3) new artists sinks

  • New accessible hardware throughout offices

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