Jan 25, 2018

Villanova University Breaks Ground for Performing Arts Center

Today Villanova University celebrated the groundbreaking of a new Performing Arts Center that will unite the University’s artistic community under one roof. The Performing Arts Center will feature state-of-the-art performance spaces and studios, classrooms to support education and artistic innovation, and common areas for collaboration by members of the University community. The Center’s two main performance spaces include a 400-seat proscenium-style theater with tailored acoustics, state-of-the-art theatrical lighting, and modern technology. This hall also will accommodate cultural events such as concert series, university-wide lectures, and major event screenings. The other venue will be a 200-seat courtyard theater that includes technologically advanced lighting and sound equipment. In addition, the Performing Arts Center will provide rehearsal space, performance labs, classrooms, a dance studio, costume and scenery shops, a box office, and multiple venues for special events. Serving as home to the Villanova Theatre program, as well as other music and dance activities, it will provide a destination where students, faculty, parents, alumni, and friends of Villanova can share their passion for the arts.

"For many years, even before I became president, I have been vocal about my desire to create a permanent home for the arts at Villanova,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, Villanova University President, who served as chair of the University’s Department of Theatre from 1992 to 2006. “The Performing Arts Center will be that place. It will be a place of discovery, where knowledge is disseminated and applied, and it will be a destination that reflects the quality of our students, faculty, and staff, the caliber of our productions, and the talent of our performers and artists.”

Set behind a plaza, the Performing Arts Center will anchor an important campus entrance at a busy intersection, addressing Lancaster Avenue by extending the welcoming curve of its lobby around the windowless box of the proscenium theater. The new building, clad in fieldstone and trimmed with limestone, will continue the interpretation of Villanova’s Collegiate Gothic character developed for our firm's Lancaster Avenue residences halls, with a more open expression appropriate to a public arts venue.

"The Performing Arts Center is the last piece of Villanova's ambitious plan for redevelopment on the south side of Lancaster Avenue," said RAMSA Partner Kevin M. Smith. "We are proud to be a part of this far-sighted reimagination of the University's physical campus and even prouder to support Father Donohue's vision for raising the profile of the arts in Villanova's academic and campus life."

The $60 million project will be funded entirely through philanthropic support. The project has been bolstered by six gifts of $1 million or more, including two gifts of $20 million.

RAMSA Partners Robert A.M. Stern, Graham S. Wyatt, and Kevin M. Smith direct the design. Voith & Mactavish Architects serve as the architect-of-record. For more information on the project, please click here.

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