Fine Arts preparations underway

By

As the MARC begins to spring up on the remnants of Shaw Field, planning continues for the renovation of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts building. While nothing has been finalized, creating additional space for each department that uses the facility is a priority, David Zenk, lead architect on the project, said. “The biggest issue we heard from each department was that they didn’t have enough space,” Zenk, an associate at Graham Gund Architects in Cambridge, MA, said. “The music department needs additional rehearsal space and more space in the concert hall, Art is serving over 500 students per year in a facility designed only for 100, and the Theater department’s rehearsal space is not at all similar to their performance space.”

The design process contains two steps, Zenk said. “The first step, and the one we’re in right now, is the programming phase, where we seek input from everyone who uses the facility: students, faculty, administrators, members of Facilities Management, and the Grounds crew,” he continued. “Then comes the design phase, when we take all the input we received and make a final plan for the space. This is also where we start drawing up floor plans, deciding how the building is going to look, and eventually coming up with a complete blueprint.”

“Something that makes Macalester special is the adjacency of these disciplines – music, art, theater, and dance,” Zenk said. “They intermingle within the current facility, and with the new building, we want to keep that idea; we want to ensure that the Fine Arts center remains a common space.”

Zenk expects the design phase to begin in December, and he estimates that creating a final design will take a minimum of one year.

ANDREW GUYTON