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An addition to the Performing Arts Center at the University of Western Washington, Bellingham

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Title: An addition to the Performing Arts Center at the University of Western Washington, Bellingham
Author: Peck, Richard Steven
Degree Master of Architecture - MArch
Program Architecture
Copyright Date: 1998
Abstract: The project chosen for this thesis is an addition to the existing Performing Arts Center at the University of Western Washington in Bellingham. It includes a series of additional solo practive rooms and classrooms; a music library and a cafe. Within the project there are also two larger 'residual' spaces. The Campus is made up of connected squares/plazas designed for the pedestrian. Performing Arts is located on High Street at the edge of the campus overlooking a neighbourhood. Originally, High Street bisected the campus acting as an artery into Bellingham. The original Music Building was added to in 1971 creating the renamed Performing Arts Centre. The central intention was to refront the centre creating a new pedestrian plaza thus enouraging the universities masterplan to convert High Street into a pedestrian mall. At the east end of the plaza there is an area with several ground plains, connections, and programs: At the uppermost level there is a bridge between a foodcourt and the plaza and below, there are two corridoors letting out into a lane, delivery access, motor cycle parking, a pedestrian connection between south hill and the campus, and an entrance to a Taco Bell which is located in the adjacent student union building. The author of this thesis imagined cicumstances where the user of a space enjoys the experience of determining how that space could be understood and used. The intention was to see the existing conditions as possibilities to inform both the location and the conceptual diagram of a new addition in a way that would facilite such experiences. In the final scheme, the lane is bisected lenghwise by a thick wall of new practice rooms to create a sectional rift between it and the existing building that harbours redirected pedestrian traffic, a completed circuit for the existing circulation, the cafe, and the main entrance. The north end is closed off using two existing exterior connections (the loading bay below and the bridge above) and the south end with a large circulation tower. The motorcycle parking is inserted into the base of the thick wall punturing the mass of practice rooms and the end wall of an existing coral rehearsal hall was replaced with an articulated glass wall containing a new entry. Conceptually, the spaces of the rift are the focus of the possibilities presented by the site, arid as such, can be understood and used as part of the city (as a kind of indoor street connecting the neighbourhood of south hill with the campus), as part of the performing arts center (as the completion of an internal circulation system), as foyer to the addition and the coral rehearsal hall, and as autonmous places for receptions and gatherings. Both as part of the existing and on their own these spaces have a kind of spacial and programatic ambiguity that allows each recipent the opportunity to discover different ways of understanding and using them.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/8209
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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