Ursinus College, The Kaleidoscope Center for the Performing Arts

Collegeville, Pennsylvania

The Kaleidoscope is the performing-arts center at Ursinus College. The college is known for its strength in the sciences and mathematics, and intended this building to lead to comparable strength in the arts.

The building is a teaching place, not a venue for professional companies; the intimate size of the main theater is scaled deliberately to the abilities of an ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$264.00CITATIONSilver Citation, Louis I. Kahn CitationFEATURED IN2006 Educational Interiors2007 Architectural PortfolioINTERIOR CATEGORYAuditoriums/Music Rooms acting student. Every space is intended as a venue for instruction. The program includes:

-A 350-seat proscenium theater, with three-position thrust stage and orchestra pit, and tunable acoustics.

-A 100-seat black-box studio theater.

-Rehearsal studio.

-Costume design center.

-Dance studio.

-Scene shop.

-Impromptu acting gallery.

-Outdoor stage and lighting grid.

-Outdoor video-projection screen.

-Production and lighting design

instructional space.

-Public gallery and lobby.

-Faculty and departmental offices.

-Makeup studio.

The Kaleidoscope is on a gently sloped lawn between a parking area and the academic heart of the campus. A sloping roof relates to that form and houses the program in a single mass through which two elements emerge: the flyloft and a tall gallery leading through the building to the outdoor performance area and the lawn.

The materials are taken from the campus palette: lead-coated copper, a native Pennsylvania fieldstone, curtainwall framing and glazing, plaster and stained concrete.

“The theater is well-designed with an unobstructed view of the stage. A wonderful venue for performing-arts appreciation.”--2006 jury

“Playful and fun environment. Awesome use of color.”--2007 jury