Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Grinnell College

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Grinnell, Iowa, USA
130,000 square feet / 12,000 square meters

The Bucksbaum Center for the Arts combines instruction and performance spaces for music, theater, and dance and includes an exhibition gallery. Located on the edge of the campus, the building serves both the College’s curriculum and the town of Grinnell.

Facing the main approach to campus, the building completes the center campus quadrangle at the south end. The building’s placement is designed to create a presence for the arts on campus. Its segmented-radial form complements the semi-circular site, expressing the dynamic forces that radiate from the Bucksbaum Center. The building, which faces a residential neighborhood of Grinnell, bridges the campus and town by reaching out in both directions.

The organization of the building reflects the integration of fine arts at a liberal arts college. The entry courtyard creates a place for meeting, for student and faculty interaction and for performances. The new interior lobby collects the primary performance/public spaces including the gallery, recital hall and studio theater.

Performance spaces include the 4,050-square-foot Sebring-Lewis Recital Hall which seats up to 338 people; the 2,000-square-foot Flanagan Studio Theatre, which seats up to 126 and can be configured for various seating and stage arrangements; and the renovated Roberts Theatre, a thrust theater that seats 450 people. A black box theater, the Wall Performance Lab, seats 72 and is used for student productions and classes. In addition, there are rehearsal rooms for music.