Crafton Hills College was looking for a top-rated, modern performing arts venue to better meet the needs of music and theater students and faculty while elevating the College’s identity in the surrounding area. The original performing arts center, built as a cast-in-place concrete structure, had become an impediment to current and future teaching needs, compounded by a lack of accessibility, outdated infrastructure and technology, and no natural daylight in teaching spaces or offices.
Our design for a new facility remedies these deficiencies and leverages a prominent location on Campus Drive to expose the arts to the surrounding community and connect with the main campus quad. The architecture maintains an efficient footprint while providing access to the outdoors for light, views, and gathering spaces to support the building as a net zero energy use arts building. The design draws upon the mid-century stylings of the campus and connects to the surrounding context and to nature. Throughout the design, decorative screens evoke the vibrancy of the arts and create shaded courtyard spaces. An open plaza accommodates informal outdoor performances, showcasing the talent within the performing arts departments to the broader campus and creates a “home away from home” for arts students.