Bowdoin College, Robert H. and Blythe Bickel Edwards Center for Art and Dance

Brunswick, Maine

The Robert H. and Blythe Bickel Edwards Center for Art and Dance at Bowdoin College brings together faculty and students previously spread across six campus locations into a single collaborative teaching and exhibition space dedicated to visual arts and dance.

What began as a programming and planning exercise exploring the adaptive reuse of the former ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$129.11FEATURED IN2014 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYInterior Renovation Elementary School revealed a variety of opportunities to embrace the building’s past while transforming it into a sophisticated and fully accessible center supporting the Bowdoin arts community. This one-of-a-kind arts center features painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture studios, two dance studios, a photography lab and darkroom, classrooms, faculty offices and studios, critique spaces for student exhibition as well as a state-of-the-art digital media lab, all in a single campus location.

The design takes advantage of the historic character of the building, with exposed brick walls, dramatic timber trusses and aged hardwood floors. To accommodate the program needs inside the existing footprint, Cambridge Seven added square footage by inserting a new intermediate floor in the former gymnasium to house additional classrooms and the dance studios.

A new digital media lab acts as a hub for a wide range of digital media activities and serves as the focal point for the first floor of the building. Studios and dedicated instructional spaces for printmaking, sculpture, and photography surround the central digital media space, providing a lively interdisciplinary environment.

On the second floor, a new dance studio and prep space enables traditional performance art to engage with modern media. The second floor also houses painting and drawing studios, critique spaces, and faculty studios and offices.

By co-locating dance and the visual arts, C7A designed a student and faculty- focused center for creativity, a place that nurtures, challenges, and inspires a new generation of artists.