Calvin College, Covenant Fine Arts Center

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Hailed as a superlative performance venue and acoustic marvel 40 years ago, the Calvin College Covenant Fine Arts Center (CFAC), was feeling its age.

The CFAC is the front door of the Calvin College campus for many in the broader community. It was important to maintain that connection, as well as serve the college’s ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY2,800COST PER SQ FT$134.00FEATURED IN2011 Architectural Portfolio by creating additional practice, rehearsal, teaching and performance space. The solution was to modernize CFAC but respect its heritage and nostalgic appeal to the community.

The exterior was designed to respect the campus Prairie School design language; it added 40,000 square feet of space to the original 72,000-square-foot CFAC. The west-side entrance of the building was enlarged to serve as an anchor for its three main public spaces: the new 240-seat recital hall, new 3,800- square-foot gallery and 1,100-seat renovated auditorium. The expanded east side added a student lounge surrounded by classrooms, practice and teaching suites, instrument storage, musical library, and the English and music department offices.

The entire facility is anchored by the CFAC auditorium, renovated with new HVAC and lighting, fabrics and woodwork.