Exeter R-VI School District, Exeter Multipurpose Space

Exeter, Missouri

  • FIRM

    Dake Wells Architecture


    Exeter R-VI School District

  • AREA

    11,000 sq.ft.





Defined by maximum constraints that require maximum flexibility, this 11,000-square-foot addition takes a three-in-one approach to provide a new multi-use space: a cafeteria, practice gym and performance hall. Situated in rural Exeter, Mo., the school serves as the heart of the community where existing facilities consisted of multiple pre-engineered ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$200.00CITATIONGold CitationFEATURED IN2012 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYMultipurpose Rooms buildings and a maze of tight corridors. By situating the project in an existing courtyard, the solution reorganizes and unifies the campus.

The practice gymnasium and cafeteria is a large space, often characterized by poor sound quality. Yet, musical performances require quality acoustics. These conflicting requirements were resolved with one simple move: a folded wood element created to control and optimize acoustics. Inspired by a sushi roll with layers of varying absorptiveness, folds in the ceiling reflect sound and direct it to the audience below. The ceiling is suspended so that sound dissipates in the void above, and perforations in the wood further fine-tune the space.

Surrounding materials absorb sound and eliminate reverberation. Skylights and clerestory windows flood the space with daylight.

"This project is a creative ‘marriage’ between the main functions, demonstrating an innovative, multi-use example. Thoughtful acoustics and daylighting. Achieved on a tight budget, the space is tasteful and inviting."--2012 jury