THE WHEELER SCHOOL,
GILDER CENTER FOR THE ARTS
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.
The Gilder Center for the Arts received an AIA Rhode Island Merit Award and an Illuminating Engineering Society Illumination Award of Merit.
Location: 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)