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May 24, 2013

Wenatchee Valley College Music and Arts Center

Photo by Lara Swimmer Photography [enlarge]
Floor-to-ceiling glass helps bring natural light into the space.

Location: Wenatchee

Architect: Integrus Architecture

Agency/owner: Wenatchee Valley College

General contractor: Graham Construction



The Music and Arts Center is a shared facility for the two programs, providing much-needed studio space for art and acoustically designed rehearsal and performance space for music.

The space requirements are diverse and specific to enhancing the education missions of each department. The building is organized into two distinct wings: the music program to the south and the art program to the north, with a shared student gallery/lobby area that provides an important connection to both wings.

The design challenge was to separate the art and music wings because of functional requirements, while preserving the prized, park-like setting and valuable specimen trees.

Large, double-height windows bring natural light into the art wing. Versatility is provided in two art studios through the use of overhead doors, allowing seasonal expansion/access to the outdoors while capturing views of the campus.

The music wing auditorium has acoustically shaped gills, reflecting colored light at the west wall.

The building strives to be sculptural with simple brick planes, metal panels and hot-rolled steel siding.

Jury comment: “This is a nicely composed building. The design is simple yet rich, and the attention to details is good. Colored glass animates the building from the outside at night, and creates an interesting play of light on the inside. Natural light in the performance areas is exciting.”


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