Larkin High School, Visual and Performing Arts Academy

Elgin, Illinois

  • FIRM

    DLA Architects, Ltd.


    Elgin School District U-46

  • AREA

    67,320 sq.ft.





The Larkin High School Visual and Performing Arts Academy is one of four school-within-a-school programs for talented students in Elgin School District U-46. The facility combines classes in the regular high school program with an academy block of integrated arts-based English, world history, science and focus classes in the visual arts, dance, drama ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$131.00FEATURED IN1998 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYAuditoriums/Music Rooms music.

Through a combination of in-depth opportunities and interdisciplinary approaches, students are allowed to develop their own talent. The Academy already has begun a program that exposes students to the talents and expertise of visiting professionals through workshop sessions and performances made possible through the Illinois Arts Council. Exploration in all venues of the arts and in aspects of performance are available within the four-year program.

The fine-arts facility was designed to enable all comprehensive and academy programs to coexist. The performing-arts academy includes: auditorium with professional sound, lighting, catwalk and rigging systems, orchestra pit and trap room, double-level mezzanine, attached scene shop, dressing rooms, and storage. The interior walkway of the auditorium entrance eliminates distraction to performers and audience from latecomers. A lobby colonnade and outdoor sculpture garden were designed to display student artwork; recital/critique room designed for classroom, intimate performance and lectures; black-box theater with control room used as drama classroom and versatile theater with modular stage risers and flexible seating; band, chorus and orchestra rooms for large-group instruction and practice; ensemble rooms for small-group lessons and practice; individual practice rooms; multidisciplinary double classrooms; computer lab with adjacent MIDI Lab; dance studio redesigned with mirrors and barres in the balcony of the main gym (The former auditorium was converted into a physical-education facility that houses gymnastics, wrestling, general classes, offices, conference room, peer tutoring and a classroom.); 2-D, 3-D, ceramics and photography classrooms with color and black/white labs grouped around a central octagonal space through display cases and windows create an interdisciplinary gathering space; a studio with its adjacent exhibit area creates a shared work area for faculty, guest artists and academy students.

Exterior brickwork has been introduced into the auditorium and lobby spaces to create a warm and inviting environment to patrons.

Photographer: ©Don Dubroff Photography and ©Dalquist and Lutzow Architects