This new, two-story facility with a theater, four classrooms and soft study spaces supports the needs of two major campus programs: a performing arts/speech and debate theater for the arts department, and an education center for BGA’s Entrepreneurship Leadership program. Embodying the client’s belief that education continually breaks down the barriers between disciplines, the design facilitates cross-discipline interaction between the programs.

ESa’s partnership with BGA spans more than 25 years, since completing the master plan and design of their original campus in the mid-1990s. The master plan always intended for a theater to be placed in this prominent campus location. Use of more traditional exterior elements complements the existing campus, while a more contemporary interior creates a student-oriented atmosphere reflecting the modern curriculum. While exterior materials blend with the existing site, the two-story volume creates a dramatic front entry that distinguishes the new Center for Arts + Entrepreneurship from the more linear campus buildings.

Both scalable and tunable, the 512-seat theater allows for maximum flexibility of use. Acoustics will support the spoken word, while the full fly tower allows the theater to accommodate large performances and the necessary infrastructure required. The lobby, used as pre-function space during performances, also functions as a flexible open-learning environment that is surrounded by student breakout spaces for more private study.

Photos © Attic Fire Photography