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St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Nancy R. and Norton T. Dodge Performing Arts Center and Learning Commons

A focal point for the community as a whole.

This redevelopment of a core area of the campus is centrally located and highly accessible for all members of the college community.

The centerpiece of the new performing arts center is the 700-seat auditorium designed to host a range of performances and activities, with 450 seats on the main floor and 250 in surrounding tiers and the balcony.

The learning commons is a new study space- accessible all hours of the day for students to read, research, collaborate, and concentrate - as well as a café, an education curriculum center, offices, and seminar rooms.

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Building design reflects place.

The design uses the vocabulary of the Tidewater Village context to unify the two new buildings in the campus’ overall composition while allowing key program elements to be expressed and celebrated.

Located on the site of a former athletic field, the two new buildings form a gateway, and together with the re-design of the campus landscape, complete a network of pathways that connects the core academic area and the residential neighborhoods to the east and north.

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An asset for the entire college.

Performance spaces are designed to support the academic programs and the performers with special attention to acoustics and the intimacy of the spaces, creating an engagement between the performers and audience that builds confidence and inspires achievement.

The performance hall can accommodate large groups, ensembles, speaking events, and traveling shows. The auditorium is supported by a large back-of-house area with spaces for performers, easy access storage, and a loading dock.

The interior spaces take advantage of daylight and views into the surrounding landscape, connecting people with this unique place and natural setting. Wood finishes are introduced to create a sense of warmth and movement in the design.

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Sustainable design.

The college has long showcased their commitment to sustainability by strategically highlighting responsible stewardship. This LEED Silver certified building carries on the tradition.

Solar panels face the southern entrance of the facility, paths that connect the building to nearby residence halls prominently feature stormwater management, and the move to split the program into two buildings allows for scripted views to the outside.

The building has high-efficiency air-cooled chillers and condensing boilers to supply VAV systems. The system serving the theater utilizes an underfloor air distribution system to improve comfort and take advantage of stratification during high occupancy.

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274 Graham Gund Partners 2018 04 10 Gene 82 U8