Hartwell Hall was the original “Main Building” on the campus of SUC @ Brockport, but with campus growth it had become a peripheral structure. A two-phase restoration and renovation project was conceived to convert a significant portion of the building for use by the dance department and to re-establish the building’s link to the campus.
For the dance program, a conventional classroom wing, complete with corridor-bearing walls, was converted to studios. The former gymnasium was altered substantially to become a performance space. The building’s centerpiece is an intimate dance theatre that was created within the envelope of an uninspired multipurpose auditorium. Tiered seating, with appropriately sloped ramps for handicapped access, takes on a dramatic sculptured form in the space.
The former “back” of Hartwell Hall was transformed by the development of new accessible entrances and exterior treatments. To link the building to the campus pedestrian infrastructures, a neighboring residence hall was split into two sections, and several pedestrian plazas were created to establish a hierarchy of community and entry spaces.