Wofford College, Rosalind S. Richardson Center for the Arts

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  • ENR Southeast, Best Project Award, Higher Education / Research Category, 2018
  • AIA South Carolina, Design Awards, Merit Award, 2018
  • Learning By Design, Design Awards, Outstanding Project Award, 2018
  • American School & University, Design Awards, Outstanding Design, 2017
  • Associated Builders and Contractors, National Excellence in Construction Pyramid Award, 2017

The new 54,000 SF Rosalind S. Richardson Center for the Arts on the Wofford College campus is home to academic programs in theatre arts, visual arts, and art history. The exterior features limestone, brick, copper, and large areas of glass that fill the art studios with natural light, creating openness, and connecting with the outdoors. Other features of the facility include a 300-seat performance hall with a 2,600 SF stage, high-performance theatrical lighting, rigging and audiovisual systems, a black box theater with a catwalk, and dressing rooms; an outdoor sculpture garden; two custom-made glass sculptures by internationally renowned artist Dale Chihuly; a museum for Wofford’s permanent collection; student gallery; seminar classrooms; faculty offices; and studios for acting, costume design, painting, and ceramics.

The Center for the Arts will enhance the student experience while also serving the community. An art studio is sized to accommodate 20-25 students at easels or drawing benches. The ceramics room features several large work tables and 4 potters’ wheels with the kiln located outside on a covered porch, which also serves as a space for using spray paint and adhesives. An art porch is surrounded by a decorative screen wall designed by Asheville artist Berry Bates. There is also a wood shop for scenery construction, which includes an integral dust collection system. Air quality in the art rooms, particularly the ceramics studio, was a project priority. Humidity, air quality, and temperature in the museum — as well as the art storage space — was handled with dedicated units, very tight controls, and attention to off-gassing of materials.

The arts center opened in May of 2017 ahead of the Fall semester for incoming students.