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Gordon Center for Creative & Performing Arts

Colby College, Waterville, ME

The 71,200 sf Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts is a jewel box of nested spaces in different scales, materials, and transparency. High ceilings, light pipe and rigging grids, sun shading, and glass facades are supported by a combination of visible ladder columns and structural members hidden among the classrooms, offices, scene shop, and support spaces. A basement black box theater contrasts sharply with a two-story, light-washed ‘sandbox’ studio, though each has a multitude of possible configurations. The 300-seat performance hall is nearly as flexible, offering acoustic and staging options within a 7,700 sf space created by long-span steel and truss construction made unique by the glass wall at the audience’s back.

Project Details




William Rawn Associates


Colby College

Structures Expertise