STG Design illustrates its deft design ability in the execution of a large-scale theater program focused on audience intimacy at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School.
Project St. Andrew's Episcopal School — Dell Fine Arts Center, Austin
Client St. Andrew's Episcopal School
Architect STG Design
Photographer Casey Dunn
STG Design designed and master-planned the St. Andrew's Episcopal high school campus in 1997. The Dell Fine Arts Center is the last element necessary to complete the school’s vision. The 46,400-sf structure consists of a 400-seat proscenium theater and a 125-seat black box theater. With an emphasis on intimacy, the design began with a prerequisite maximum distance of 70 feet from any spectator to the actors on the stage. Subdivided into two tiers, the auditorium space is proportioned to provide the sense of a “sold out” audience, whether 250 or 400 are in attendance.
The north elevation of the Fine Arts Center features an over-scaled porch entry, which welcomes visitors and provides space for pre-function and intermission activities. The glassy facade blurs the distinction of the interior and exterior lobbies and underscores the expansive and celebratory character of the Center, which at night becomes a brightly lit beacon for the school's activities.
The building design echoes the architectural vocabulary of the existing campus with shed roof forms, deep porches, ample north-facing glass, and covered walkways. Materials include patterned C.I.P. concrete, limestone, metal panels with color shifts, and a glass curtain wall to complement the campus’ regional palette and provide an updated aesthetic for this state-of-the-art complex.