Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture (HMBA) - Roe Green Center for the School of Theatre and Dance Print
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 08:41

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Kent-State_Roe-Green-Center_Exterior-Entrance-Detail_Right_-Photo-by-Tom-Kessler
Photograph ©Tom Kessler
This new project has just opened its doors earlier this month. Two years in the making its is being inaugurated during Kent State University’s centennial year, the Roe Green Center designed by Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture (HMBA) incorporates both renovation and new construction of the Music and Speech Building built in 1960.

It features a striking new glass lobby entrance, a 200-seat black box experimental theatre, and brings the Theatre and Dance departments together under the same roof for the first time with three, new state-of-the art dance studios.

"We are thrilled to have everyone in the same building and we're excited by the creative possibilities for collaborations by theatre, dance and music students." said Cynthia Stillings, director, School of Theatre and Dance.

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In order to better prepare undergraduate and graduate students for careers in the performing arts, the project converts the music library into an expanded performing arts library, creates a new costume shop, and renovates and upgrades the computer, costume technology, lighting, props and crafts, and welding labs; recording studio; scene shop, along with offices and classrooms.

Kent-State-Roe-Green-Center_photo-by-Tom-Kessler_Courtesy-of-Holzman-Moss-Bottino-Architecture
Roe Green Center for the School of Theatre and Dance Photograph
©Tom Kessler


The lobby addition creates a new front door for the arts by providing a single entryway for six departments and four performance spaces. The project maximizes the amount of new space possible within budget constraints to meet expanded needs for new performance, instruction, research, and support spaces.

According to Michael Bruder, Kent State's director of design and construction, Office of the University Architect, "The architects designed a fantastic addition that provides a dynamic transforming of the building. The design of the new lobby and black box theatre not only improves student learning opportunities and the patron experience, the architecture reflects the caliber and creativity of the works being prepared and performed by our theatre and dance students and faculty."Roe Green Center for the School of Theatre and Dance Photograph

Kent-State_-Roe-Green-Center_Exterior_Entrance-Right_Photo-by-Tom-Kessler
Roe Green Center for the School of Theatre and Dance, Main Entrance
Photograph ©Tom Kessler


Commenting on the scope of the project, Malcolm Holzman, FAIA, and partner of Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture adds, “Our greatest challenge was to create a unique, dramatic identity for the performing arts at Kent with the addition of the Roe Green Center. Reflecting practical design solutions while anticipating future expansion needs, the Center represents a dynamic, collaborative, flexible, interdisciplinary, learning environment that responds to both changing technology and teaching methods while promoting greater formal and informal interaction between faculty and students as integral to the learning process.”
Kent-State_Roe-Green-Center_Entrance_Side-Exterior_Photo-by-Tom-Kessler
Roe Green Center for the School of Theatre and Dance
Photograph ©Tom Kessler
Music and Speech Building Additions
Serving as the new grand entrance and common gathering space for all of the arts programs, the lobby also provides a new point of entry for the existing 1960 building. Located under a continuous canopy along Theatre Drive, the high performance glass façade of the south facing lobby utilizes daylight harvesting to maximize natural light while providing views out to the surrounding campus.

Connecting to existing circulation paths within the surrounding building, the lobby features a café (as part of the pre-function space), a lounge, and an informal exhibition area. Accented by flush-mounted lighting and a stainless steel textured ceiling, the lobby evolves from serving as Wi-Fi student lounge during the day, to operating as a reception area for music, dance, and theater performances, as well as social events at night.

Among the sustainable materials incorporated throughout the lobby are glazing in public areas to utilize maximum amount of day light, low E glazing windows, high efficiency lighting, carpet tiles made from recycled rubber tires, solid recycled glass cafe countertops, low voc paints and stains, and rapidly renewable bamboo benches.



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Kent-State_Roe-Green-Center_Dance-Studio_Interior_Photo-by-Tom-Kessler
Roe Green Center for the School of Theatre and Dance, Dance Studio
Photograph ©Tom Kessler

While continuing the University’s tradition of masonry-clad structures, HMBA’s expressive approach towards design involved bringing verve to the windowless facades of the Louis O. Erdmann and William H. Zucchero Theatre. It is clad in various-sized ribbed, polished, and flat masonry blocks. Two rings of continuous energy-efficient lighting are tucked into the three-frame setbacks washing it with light to bring a sense of animation to the surfaces. Inside the black box theatre, flexible staging and seating options provide an intimate setting for both the teaching and practice of movement, voice, and acting.

Acoustically engineered for excellent speech intelligibility, the theatre also employs technology that allows for A/V, lighting, and theatrical equipment operation from both the control booth and stage floor.
Kent-State_Roe-Green-Center_Lobby-Interior-Detail_Lighting_Photo-by-Tom-Kessler
Roe Green Center for the School of Theatre and Dance, Lobby interior
Photograph ©Tom Kessler


Relocated to the Music and Speech Building and prominently connected along the existing main corridor at the lower and first levels, the Dance Department consists of three new dance studios, administrative offices, and support spaces. Though similar to adjacent buildings, as with the new Theatre, the Dance addition is clad in a variety of larger than standard size bricks of various patterns and shapes. The three studios, ranging in size from 1,900 s.f. to 2,400 s.f., are accented by dramatically sloping, 18 foot- to 28 foot-tall ceilings.

Windows at varying heights bathe each studio in natural light. Designed for various performance types and instructional use, the studios are outfitted with all the latest advancements including sprung wood floors covered with marley dance surface, a fully-equipped sound system, and acoustic panels. Interior finishes incorporate a series of sustainable materials similar to those found in the lobby.

Renovation of classroom offices and support spaces on the lower level, first, second and top floors included remodeling all theatre performance production essentials ranging from costume, makeup, and scenery to music and lighting workshops.



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Last Updated on Thursday, 25 November 2010 11:29