Performing arts centre at Kent State University given complete transformation
The Roe Green Center at Kent State University in Ohio is welcoming the New Year with a fresh face, as Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture (HMBA) completed its $13m renovation and expansion of the School of Theatre and Dance in November. Enabled by the largest capital gift in the University’s history - $6.5m from the Roe Green Foundation - matched by the University itself, the new design work incorporates a range of state-of-the-art technologies and highly sustainable building materials whilst continuing the University’s tradition of masonry-clad structures.
Kent State University’s 1960s Music and Speech Building has been transformed with a shimmering new glass lobby entrance, a 200 seat black box experimental theatre and three new dance studios, admin offices and support spaces which comprise the relocated Dance Department. These new additions are clad in a range of oversized bricks of varying size and style and range in size from 1,900 sq ft to 2,400 sq ft, forming a dramatic silhouette with theatrical sloping ceilings.
An existing music library has been expanded to incorporate a wider variety of modules ‘in order to better prepare undergraduate students for careers in the performing arts’, whilst a new costume shop and renovations and upgrades to the computer, costume technology, lighting props and crafts, and welding labs, recording studio, scene shop, offices and classrooms, aim to enrich the learning possibilities and opportunities afforded by the cultural institution.
Welcoming visitors to the facility is a towering glass lobby which provides a new point of entry for the existing 1960 building, whose south-facing position utilises daylight harvesting to maxmise natural light whilst providing views across the surrounding campus. Within this lobby is an area of hugely flexible space. A daytime layout of café, lounge and informal exhibition area can be converted into a fully functioning reception area for music, dance and theatre performances, as well as social events in the evening.