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Charles R. Walgreen, Jr. Drama Center & Arthur Miller Theatre, University of Michigan

  • Location Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Client University of Michigan School of Music, Department of Theatre and Drama
  • Completion 2007
  • Size 97,500 s.f.
  • Project type Education
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New home for the University of Michigan’s Department of Theatre and Drama

The project comprises the Arthur Miller Theatre, academic and administrative spaces. Program components are resolved within two interconnected forms: a cubic glass volume that houses the 250-seat black box theatre, and the long, elegantly proportioned ‘learning loft’.

The Theatre marks the entrance to the University’s North Campus. Wrapped in a translucent glass envelope, the exterior evokes the transformative effects of theatre – by day it is an elegant volume, by night it is an alluring glass beacon. A concrete column portico defines the exterior actors’ terrace, with wood benches between the columns to encourage gathering and interaction. The learning loft stretches eastward from the theatre and contains three flexible 150-seat performance/teaching studios, full scene shop and production space on ground level. A glass corridor connects the studios and provides a window through which theatre students can be seen practicing. The second floor houses the academic administration offices overlooking the theatre lobby.