The Wheeler School on College Hill is an independent pre-K–12 school with a strong tradition in performing and visual arts. ABA’s design for the Gilder Center for the Arts gathers the School’s arts-related programs into one 35,000-square-foot facility. The Neoclassical Wheeler Hall, one of the first campus buildings, was renovated to house fine arts studios and a black box theater. Designed with a flexible, demountable platform system, the 175-seat theater is supported by a new audience reception area, a rehearsal studio, dressing rooms, costume storage, and a scene shop. A new building next to Wheeler Hall provides six music classrooms, a recording studio, practice rooms, and a 400-seat stepped assembly space. The buildings are joined by an interior street that creates a new north–south campus connection.
The new building balances the scale, material, and massing of Wheeler Hall with contemporary design, creating a dynamic focus on the south edge of the campus. This is ABA’s third building designed for the campus, the outcome of ABA’s 2007 Campus Master Plan.
Providence, Rhode Island
Size: 35,000 sf
Project Team: Ann Beha FAIA, Thomas Hotaling AIA, Steven Gerrard AIA, James M. Smith AIA (ABA); DCK Worldwide (Construction Management); Odeh Engineers (Structural); AHA Consulting Engineers (MEP / FP); Pressley Associates (Landscape); Crossman Engineering (Civil); Robert W. Fairbanks (Geotechnical); Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting (Lighting); Acentech (Acoustics / AV); Jensen Hughes (Code); Wil-Spec (Specifications); SGH (Envelope); Peter Vanderwarker / David Lamb (Photography)