Yes, Virginia, there is a Pharrell Williams! The rapper and artist has plans to build a $35 million after school center for kids in his hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The project got underway after Pharrell and Oppenheim (of Oppenheim Archeture + Design) met at the art love-fest, Art Basel in 2008 and bonded over a shared vision to “make the world a better place,” the press release describes.
“Pharrell had a unique experience growing up with a local educator that gave him the confidence to pursue his talents,” Oppenheim tells Co.Design, “and he wants to provide the same atmosphere for future generations,” reported FastcoDesign.com
“I believe the architecture of a building says a lot about its soul and I wanted a building for the center that makes a statement to the world and the kids,” said Pharrel, “something that will stand as a monument of optimism, and felt Chad was the only architect that could capture that. We want the building to look like something out of the future, so it will inspire the kids in it to aspire to greater things.”
The center is slated for completion in 2013 and will be built in partnership with the City of Virgina. Kids will learn about music, design, have a place to do their homework as well as meet with mentors, in the 35,000 square foot resource center.