Aerial Site View
Topographical Zones (top), Unfolding Walls at West Entrance (bottom)
Located in the Campus Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, the New Auditorium is prominently located adjacent to the campus Greek Theatre. The building, which negotiates a 40 foot elevation change from the top of the hill to the bottom, reads more as a series of site walls unfolding into the landscape – a resultant of the desire to respect views to and from the Greek Theatre and to be sensitive to the new building’s visual impact on this historic structure and landscape, both of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
LANDSCAPE OVER STRUCTURE
The New Auditorium is the first, newly constructed landscape-over-structure building in the history of the university, incorporating three planted roofs which all meet grade at varying levels of the hill.
- One large auditorium (475 seats ) and one small auditorium (290 seats) results in the potential of 765 students circulating in and out of these two spaces at roughly the same time over multiple times per day (up to 7Xs)
- As such, entrances and egresses were designed to allow access to each auditorium from both the top/back and the bottom/front
- A post-lecture circulation plan was devised where students would exit the auditoria via the bottom/front while incoming students would enter via the top/back
- With the negotiation of a 40-foot elevation change from top of hill to bottom, the design likewise allows the building itself to be as porous as possible, offering entrances and egresses at the upper, mid and lower levels of the hill, accepting students from various parts of campus and facilitating their departure to their next destination
DUAL USE LOBBY
- The main lobby of the building serves as the connective tissue and offers access to both auditoria at the mid-level of the building
- One can enter the upper back of the large auditorium or the lower front of the small auditorium from this space
- Despite being “buried” at mid-level of the project, the lobby space itself is naturally lit from the south by a series of high clerestory windows and from the east by a continuous curtain wall
- A variety of seating types allow students to gather for group work prior to and after lectures in the large auditoria
- The lobby itself was designed as a gallery space and currently exhibits 4 works by three internationally known Black artists selected by the University’s Public Art Oversight Committee with the mission of “educating and enriching the lives of students and the community through observation of and participation in public art.”
CONNECTION TO ADJACENT GREEK THEATRE
- Theater listed on National Register of Historic Places
- The uppermost elevation provides an outdoor plaza that expands from the Senior Walk and contains a glass-box pavilion which doubles as an event space.
- The plaza offers an extension of the Greek Theatre and its landscape to the east, demonstrating a visual continuity of this critically important campus landscape feature throughout the entire site
- During numerous times of the year the Greek Theatre plays host to everything from outdoor performances to pep-rallies and the siting of this outdoor pavilion intentionally extends the capacity for such events
Pavillion / Northern Entrance
PAVILION BREAK-OUT SPACE / EVENT SPACE
- The upper-level pavilion is designed with moveable/flexible tables and seating to allow for smaller break-out spaces from the two large lecture auditoria
- With 4 sides of continuous curtain wall/large window openings, the pavilion space visually connects to the landscape and surrounding campus
- A series of doors open out to the outdoor plaza to the west of the pavilion, allowing this space to literally extend to the outdoors for larger-scaled special events
- The pavilion houses a catering preparation area allowing both the University and the Student Body to support special events in this building
PDR teamed with locals Allison Architects on the project.