The MacDowell Colony

Interdisciplinary Studio

Peterborough, NH

Client: The MacDowell Colony

Scope: Accommodates up to 10 artists at a time for collaborative projects in choreography, performance art, light and sound exhibitions and other art forms; writer’s studio opposite defines south end of site

The ID studio is a first in the history of this storied artists retreat that has nurtured poets, composers, artists, photographers and many noted artists since its founding in 1907. Our design addresses a growing need expressed by artists for highly-adaptable, collaborative space. At its core is a flexible black-box theater with multimedia capability. The interior can open to the outdoors—a small clearing in the woods—where concrete and stone terraces serve as additional performance space. Inside, natural light can be controlled through a system of mechanized blackout shades. Overhead, a tension-wire grid allows lighting designers to work easily and safely. At the far end of the clearing, we designed a rustic screened pavilion for a writer’s studio, which will have hemlock bark shingles.

Materials: Cast concrete; exposed aggregate concrete; patinated steel; cedar; copper roofing; mahogany windows; painted steel

Collaborators:
General Contractor: Tim Groesbeck
Structural Engineer: Ben Tirey
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: WV Engineering
Lighting Consultant: PHT Lighting Design Inc.
Acoustical Consultant: Acentech Inc.
Code Consultant: R.W. Sullivan Engineering