Olin Auditorium & Classroom Renovations – Colby College

In a series of renovations, two different learning spaces in Colby College’s Olin Building were transformed to align with current teaching and learning practices in underutilized spaces.

In the existing lecture hall, the traditional seating format was retained but the space was upgraded to introduce different layers of user control for sound and lighting to allow for broader presentation styles and room uses. ADA accommodations were also improved and power / data upgrades were made throughout the space to accommodate current technology usage. Continuing the approach used in the classroom and corridor renovation, and again working to mitigate the lack of daylighting, the new ceiling treatment and lighting approach was intended to bring a renewed sense of energy and connection to the organic world to the space. The lecture hall has been reimagined as an inviting, comfortable and adaptable space for learning, complimenting the other learning spaces nearby.

For the design of the new Active Learning Classroom, flexibility and connectivity were key. Located on the lower level of the Olin Science Center at Colby College on the Waterville Maine Campus, the space was formerly an isolated library study room that was completely inaccessible from the main learning spaces on that level. SA worked with Colby to realize a new classroom space that engaged with the surrounding hallway, lecture hall, and nearby computer lab.

A pair of new, angled walls define the new classroom space and projection booth for the lecture hall. A large glass window and marker board looks onto the common space between, activating the shared corridor, which now offers areas for small group meetings or private study. The classroom itself is designed to be omnidirectional with the possibility for moveable partitions and configurations that allow for a variety of learning experiences.


Client  |  Colby College

Location   Waterville, Maine

Photographer   Magnus Stark