The Waynflete School Arts Center project involved the complete re-thinking of the center section of the School’s campus. Existing buildings had to be renovated, existing uses changed, and new buildings added to provide the spaces required for a complete arts teaching facility. The project required extensive research and work with the Building Committee and staff at the School, the neighborhood, the Historic Preservation Commission, and the Planning Board. Urban design considerations were extremely important.
The campus sits in the center of the Western Promenade Historic District, a very distinct residential neighborhood. SSA developed an organizational idea that allowed the major elements of the new program spaces to be organized in smaller “studio” buildings, roughly the size of the surrounding brick residential buildings. The new auditorium was located in the center of these “studio” buildings, masking its overall mass and size from the scale of the neighborhood.
The completed facility houses over 36,000 SF of performing and visual arts space, including a 275 seat theater/auditorium, jazz and steel band studios, music rehearsal rooms, art studios, a dance studio, classrooms, offices, and support spaces. The centerpiece of the Waynflete Art Center complex is a two story, 275 seat theater. Use of wood, natural light and stadium-style seating create an intimate environment that is well suited for lectures, assemblies, and fine arts performances. The catwalk, fly spaces, sound and lighting equipment and set shop create a professional quality laboratory environment for studying the performing arts. Complementary program spaces such as music and drama classrooms, a theater workshop, and faculty offices surround the theater creating a compact and central learning environment for the entire Arts Department.
Our work with the Waynflete School has continued with the recent completion of the renovation and addition to the Waynflete Lower School
Client | Waynflete School
Location | Portland, Maine
Photographer | Brian Vanden Brink
Awards | 2003 AIA Honorable Mention Award / LEED Silver Certification