In Worcester, Mass., a one-hour drive from Boston, the College of the Holy Cross has completed its $110 million Prior Performing Arts Center. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), the 84,000-square-foot facility serves as an incubator for multidisciplinary learning and creativity, with venues for both fine arts and performing arts. The PAC will support creative collaboration among faculty and students across all academic disciplines.
Among the PAC’s key features, the Beehive is a flexible space that includes a shared multimedia teaching area for electronic music and musical composition courses, sound recording, sound editing, and video and film editing. The Beehive also provides collaborative workspaces, multipurpose rehearsal spaces, a cafe, and gathering spaces with movable furniture.
The Luth Concert Hall, a 400-seat convertible concert hall and proscenium theater, serves as the College’s principal venue for symphonic music, chamber music, jazz, gamelan, and opera, as well as musical theater and dance. The Boroughs Theatre is a 200-seat, fully flexible experimental theater space. And the Cantor Art Gallery offers a variety of interdisciplinary exhibits and increased exhibition and storage space.
Support spaces include a scene shop, costume design studio, recording studio, lighting and set design study, and multi-use spaces to encourage collaboration among the arts and between the arts and other disciplines. Outdoor amenities include a small amphitheater, an outdoor teaching area and workspace, a meditative garden, and a sculpture garden.
Major inaugural performances at the PAC will take place in December, including the world premiere of a new violin concerto composed by a College of the Holy Cross professor.
On the Building Team:
Owner: College of the Holy Cross
Executive architect: Perry Dean Rogers
Landscape architect: OLIN
Civil engineer: Nitsch Engineering
MEP engineer: Altieri Sebor Wieber
Structural engineer: Robert Silman Associates