Wolfe Center for the Callaborative Arts / Snøhetta

Wolfe Center for the Callaborative Arts By Snøhetta - 01
 Wolfe Center for the Callaborative Arts  

World renowned practice Snohetta delivers the project for the Wolfe Center for the Collaborative Arts in Ohio by creating an inviting and engaging space for the students which will use the space. The center will house a number of classrooms, studios for music, drama and art departments as well as a 400 seat theater space. The design of the building is a response to the smooth planes of the northwest Ohio landscape, with its far horizons and big sky.

Located in the middle of the Bowling Green State University, the 93,000-sf building serves as a collaborative anchor connecting the music and fine arts buildings. Ryan Miller, project manager at BGSU, explains that the main theatre holds approximately 400 patrons, depending on the room configuration, to provide an intimate setting for performers to perfect their voices while encouraging audience interaction within a learning environment.


Punctuating the expansive horizons of northwestern Ohio, the new Wolfe Center for the Arts at Bowling Green State University rises from the fertile plains to alter the local landscape – both literally and culturally. The landscape plan is divided into three distinct outdoor spaces surrounding the building: the sloping lawn to the east, the intimate sculpture garden to the south, and the entrance plaza to the west.

The sloped berm, which “clads” the eastern portion of the building as it emerges from the landscape, is planted with turf grass identical to the grass which grows elsewhere on campus. A roof terrace provides an outdoor space for gathering, eating, sitting, and studying.

The landscape design ties the new building to the existing campus, allowing for flexible public spaces, a strengthening of the campus green space and a frame for the new arts center. A grand open hall greets the visitor from the main entrance of the new Wolfe Center. Sunlit and spacious, the lobby provides views upward to the lounges, classrooms and studios of the art, music and drama departments on the second level of the Center.

The building contains three performance spaces: a proscenium theater for large-scale productions of musical theater, opera, and classical drama; a studio theater for the presentation of more diverse artistic styles, and an Actor’s theater for experimental productions, integrating the spoken word and body movement with digital and sound technology.

In addition to being a place for students and faculty to learn and work on theatrical, dance, musical, film and digital arts productions, the center will offer the community an exceptional venue in which to see a wide range of performances. The unique program unites a diverse range of art studies into a socially enterprising facility meant to encourage lively interaction among students and faculty alike.

The Wolfe Center for the Arts key facilities:

  • A 400-seat proscenium arch stage, designed to accommodate all types of theatrical and operatic performances
  • A 200-seat actor’s theater, with flexible seating that can be rearranged from a traditional layout, to multi-level, to stage-surround, and more
  • A black-box stage
  • A recording studio and editing bays
  • State-of-the-art choral facilities
  • A substantial common space to facilitate the creative process

The Wolfe Center has at it’s very core a unique program that unites a diverse range of art studies in to a socially enterprising facility meant to encourage lively interaction among students and faculty alike. It will ultimately be a place of quiet distinction and boundless energy.

High value is place on the creation of open and democratic places within the design breaking down the barriers that might otherwise exist between people of divergent interests. In the Wolfe Center we have created a grand open hall that greets the visitor from the main entrance. Sunlit and spacious, the lobby provides views upward to the lounges, classrooms and studios of the art, music and drama departments on the second level of the Center.

Situated at the heart of the building the Donnell Theater seats 400 and can be used for a range of performance venues. It is designed as a high quality room in the style of the great Broadway halls found in New York and London. Working together with the internationally recognized theater planners Theatre Projects Consultants and the acousticians Akustiks, we have placed a great deal of emphasis upon the intimacy and function of this room as that it will meet the highest contemporary criteria for a theater of this kind. The main hall is flanked by a smaller Actor’s Theater and another studio theater.

The vast agrarian plains of the northwestern Ohio, the gently meandering rivers flowing northward toward the great lakes and the unbroken horizons across the cultural landscape of fields and farms allow for a unique framework of context. Nearly 20,000 years ago glacier shelves scoured this landscape and on their retreat northward the ice left vast plateaus of rich soils and uncovered geology.

The new Wolfe Center will create a memorable link between the vast openness of the ancient plateaus that characterize this landscape and the dynamic and contemporary notion of fostering openness.

 Project Data  

Project name: Wolfe Center for the Callaborative Arts
Location: Bowling Green, Ohio, United States
Coordinates: 41.377420, -83.633641
Type: Cultural Center, Theatre and Auditorium, University
Project Area: 98,000 sq.ft
Project Year: 2011
Status: Completed
Cost: $41 million
Completion Year: fall 2011

 The people  

Client / Owner / Developer: Bowling Green State University
Architects: Snøhetta, Akershusstranda 21, Skur 39, N-0150 Oslo, Norway
Associate Architect: The Collaborative, INC
Project Team: The Collaborative, INC – Michael DiNardo, Jim Sarks, Don Myers, Lisa Crawford-Nusser
Project Director: Elaine Molinar, Vanessa Kassabian, Scott Melancon
Design Team: Craig Dykers, Vanessa Kassabian, Elaine Molinar, Nicolas Rader, Scott Melancon
Landscape: Snøhetta – Knut Bjørgum, and Claire Fellman
MEP: Korda Engineering
Mechanical Engineer: Jim Demsky
Structural Engineer: Greg Fraker
Electrical Engineer: Rob Gardner
Theater Project: Gene Leitermann, Tony Forman, Scott Crossfield
Acoustic Consultants: Akustiks, Paul Scarbrough, Chris Blair
General Contractor: Rudolph Libbe
Plumbing: Bayes, Inc.
Mechanical: Vaughn Industries, LLC
Electrical: Lake Erie Electric of Toledo, Inc.
Fire Protection: SA Comunale
Text Description: © Courtesy of Snøhetta
Images: © Bruce Damonte, Snøhetta

Video 1
Video 2
 Location Map  

[map:https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=208513009578745261626.0004c86e242d4b7fb54a3&msa=0&ll=41.376744,-83.63368&spn=0.021737,0.045447_map 450 325]

No comments

Post a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

© 2012-2015 Designalmic : Some rights reserved : Copyright of photos belong to each photographer/office.



Google Plus

Follow Me on Pinterest
  • BuzziPicnic Table / Alain Gilles for BuzziSpace - BuzziPicNic table and bench system provide the perfect collaborative desk option for any office space. Meant to facilitate easy collaboration among co-workers, much like a lunch table, BuzziPicNic boasts a long wooden table and can be paired with a series of BuzziBenches. The rustic structure has been modernized with electrical strips hidden inside, allowing for sleek connectivity and wire management...

    Pinned: 27 Nov 2015
  • House of Dior Seoul / Christian de Portzamparc - A brand new Dior Boutique in Seoul. Nestled in the heart of the city’s elegant Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu district, the innovative and unique building has been designed by the French architect Christian de Portzamparc, winner of architecture’s prestigious Pritzker Prize. The interiors have been designed by the internationally renowned architect Peter Marino...

    Pinned: 23 Nov 2015
  • Surreal Anatomy Photography / Ángela Burón - Spanish photographer Ángela Burón explores the anatomy of the human body in surreal portraits, the young 25-year-old photographer questions our own humanity and our relationship to the body, skillfully blurring the codes of normality. She likes to play with different body parts, arranging them in new, unexpected ways...

    Pinned: 19 Nov 2015
  • VIVOOD Landscape Hotel / Daniel Mayo, Agustin Mari, Pablo Vazquez - VIVOOD Landscape Hotel is a peaceful getaway which offers visitors the opportunity to experience new sensations in a peaceful, exclusive setting. Walk the paths through the valley, breath in the comforting, pure air and enjoy close contact with nature,sustainability and a healthy life in luxurious surroundings. Just 17km from the hustle and bustle of Benidorm and 45km from Alicante is the Valley of Guadalest,...

    Pinned: 16 Nov 2015
  • Learning Hub (The Hive) Nanyang Technological University / Heatherwick Studio - An advanced educational learning hub by top UK architect Heatherwick Studio, it will support NTU’s ambitions in pushing the frontiers of innovation in learning and sustainable building design. The eight-storey building is envisioned to be a place where students might meet their future business partner or conceive an amazing idea with a university mate...

    Pinned: 16 Nov 2015