Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH, broke ground on Thursday, September 1 for its new Fine and Performing Arts Center (FPAC) designed by The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM).
The new 16,000-SF single-story facility will feature a state-of-the-art black box theater; fine art gallery; four art studios with support space for graphic design, painting, ceramics and sculpture; outdoor art areas; along with faculty offices and support areas.
The college’s goal is to unify the instructional, performance, and exhibit spaces that are essential to its art program into one facility. This space will feature views of Mount Kearsarge, providing an exceptional, naturally lit visual arts exhibit space, and access to the blackbox theater. A clear circulation spine allows for direct access to the various studios, which in turn share an outdoor arts yard where exterior kilns will be located and larger sculptures can be constructed. The architecture’s exterior will reflect the arts village concept with a variety of building forms and materials that also reflect the styles of the adjacent buildings.
Future phases of the project will include additional art studios with support space for introduction to art, drawing, printmaking, photography, additional graphic design spaces and senior studio space; a dance studio and a 500-seat proscenium theater with related support spaces including a scene shop, costume shop, dressing rooms and a green room.
“We are thrilled that construction has begun on this facility, which will further enhance the dynamic arts program at Colby-Sawyer,” says Rich Connell, AIA, SLAM Principal. “We look forward to this new signature space and the ways in which it will enrich the presence of the fine arts on campus and unite the campus with the community.
While the plan for the completed Fine and Performing Arts Center provides space for each of the various disciplines, its overall organization creates a place where integrated arts will occur; a place where instruction, performance and exhibition become one.
The general contractor on the project is North Branch Construction of Concord. Construction is expected to be complete by summer 2017. SLAM has also designed the College’s Ware Student Center in addition to developing its Master Plan.