On the main quadrangle of this secondary school campus, this arts center provides a versatile setting for rehearsal and performance of music, drama, and dance education in an intimate New England setting.
To minimize the building mass on the small- scale campus, the program is housed in three volumes, stepping back and downhill from the quad. A day-lit multi-level lobby forms the main entry on the quad. A grand stair cascades down through the building, following the natural slope of the land. With theater and performance wings to either side, the linear reception lobby functions as a unifying “spine,” providing access to the lower floors and spectacular views from each level, of the landscape beyond. The theater volume houses a flexible 200- seat theater entered at several levels along the grand lobby stair and is designed to present drama, music and dance performances. The classroom volume includes a 75 person multi-use recital hall, a black box theater, music practice rooms and the Music and Drama departments.
Where possible, the structure is exposed, minimizing material use while expressing its construction. The interior finishes are minimal: exposed colored concrete floor, exposed acoustical cellular metal roof deck and painted beams reduce the use of ceiling tiles and vinyl. Every room, with the exception of the theater, receives natural light, minimizing the need for artificial light and heat. In the warm months the locations of the lobby entry doors, separated by two floors, allow for natural convective ventilation. The exterior is clad in painted MDO Plywood with battens manufactured from recycled material. The materials have been chosen to be cost effective, durable, and environmentally sensitive.