The Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts is a summer arts and music camp located on a heavily wooded site in Long Island. Many of the buildings on campus are cedar clad, open-air studios that have a strong connection to the landscape. The Chess Center is a new enclosed, air conditioned facility designed for studying and playing chess. It is a flexible building that can be divided into three small classrooms or opened up into one large classroom. This adaptability allows the building to also accommodate special conferences and performances sponsored by the Center. The exterior is clad in natural cedar shingles and siding. On the south façade, there are folding glass entrance doors that can be fully opened to allow the central interior space to extend out to the deck. On the north side of the building there is a more private deck nestled into the woods. The interiors are full of natural light and include high windows that frame views of the trees. Large sliding wood doors allow the interior space to be open or divided to accommodate varying functions and class sizes.
Jane Lawson-Bell served as Principal in Charge for the Maurice Hexter Chess Center while a Principal at Atkin Olshin Lawson-Bell Architects, Philadelphia, PA.