East Central High School’s Performing Arts Center is a 37,000-square-foot facility with 1,000-seat multiuse auditorium as its centerpiece. The building will be the heart of a booming performing arts curriculum and is the first of its kind for the district. The associated lobby, drama classroom, choir hall, scene shop and rehearsal spaces are organized to create a “timeline” of theater production around the auditorium itself. The organizational diagram culminates in the theater, where the round geometry reinforces the idea by “closing the loop” and providing a dynamic geometry at the gateway to the campus. Fenestration provides a window into each phase, celebrating the dynamic act of theater production.
Material selections ground the building to its place while advancing the campus vernacular. East and west facing vertical fins and deep roof overhangs are thoughtfully deployed to mitigate the harsh South Texas sun and heat gain.
The building design takes inspiration from the entire process of producing a performance. The building seeks to be a teaching tool for the students and the community, displaying each phase along the path to a performance in sequence as a “feedback loop” around the auditorium.