The renovation of part of the Hun School’s Chesebro Academic Building creates and celebrates the connection between the arts and sciences, in a design that connects students, faculty and visitors around the auditorium and biology and chemistry labs. A gracious, glass-clad addition housing a new entrance and theater foyer stretches along the auditorium. This, combined with reconfigured parking to allow for a new landscaped science terrace and garden adjacent to the labs, transforms what had been the back of the building into a vibrant and accessible new front — and creates a new destination on campus.
An undulating wood wall is visible from outside the foyer and engages passers-by. The form and materiality of the curvilinear wall are echoed in the design of the ceiling inside the auditorium and is an expression of theater’s dynamic movement of people, light and sound. The addition also houses a new control room, while adjacent areas house expanded storage space, a scene shop, and dressing rooms. The ceiling and finishes inside the auditorium improve the ambiance as well as acoustical properties of the space.
Adjacent to the auditorium, the new landscaped science terrace and garden offer outdoor teaching and learning space leading directly to the lab wing. The ground floor houses biology labs and the upper floor chemistry labs. The labs are designed with two labs sharing a central team space that can be easily opened to create one large space. A supply and preparation room leads to both labs.