Christ Presbyterian Academy is a private co-educational college-preparatory school for grades preschool through 12, situated on a 58-acre campus in Nashville, Tennessee. A campus-wide master plan intentionally sited the new Arts Center to enclose and define a central outdoor quad, an act that transformed the campus from an automotive-centered campus to one that embraces the human scale and encourages interaction throughout the school's idyllic and pastoral setting.
Like the program it houses, the Fine Arts Center is bright and inspired. Brick massing wraps the building base and references existing campus scale and materiality. An undulating corrugated metal panel, evocative of the stage curtain, sheaths the theater house and fly tower. At the main entry, the brick mass opens up to reveal a transparent lobby capped with a wooden canopy — a welcoming gesture for students and visitors alike. The glazing pattern — an interpretation of the Academy's tartan pattern — introduces a contemporary vocabulary unique to this campus.
Through the transparent façade, the lobby blurs the line between indoors and out with natural materials and abundant natural light, inviting curiosity and wonder through both the grand scale of the space and its sculptural gestures. The 550-seat theater auditorium echoes the gentle curves found in the lobby representing the creative expression fostered within the building and standing in contrast to the Arts Building's orthogonal brick massing.
An expansive clerestory, which diffuses light throughout the lobby, furthers the connection between indoors and out. At night, the luminosity from within puts the venue's activity and creativity on display. Both form and program work in tandem to create a contextual response that elevates the campus and inspires creativity and art.
The program also includes a black box theater, makeup, and dressing rooms, a costume shop, scene shop, green room, Administrative, and Arts Department offices.