Page 34 - College Planning & Management, November 2017
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seeks to use furnishing mate- rials sensitive to the environ- ment. “Upholstery can’t off-gas, for example. It’s usually treated for durability with chemicals,” says Chung. “We have to make sure those formulas are green. And we try to use recycled ma- terials as much as possible.”
Furniture selections for the Design Building were specifi- cally focused on well-designed, flexible choices including simple, stackable, rolling Caper chairs from Herman Miller. To add visual interest, the firm chose a palette of paint colors born from the surrounding landscape.
“We thought of the universi- ty in a heavily forested area for the furniture colors — the yel- low, the oranges — and about what happens in this area in the fall,” Chung explains. “That ac- cent really played well against the natural materials.”
Sophia Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts, Salem State University
Just 100 miles east of the UMass Design Building, Salem State University’s Sophia Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts demonstrates how an old building can be reborn on a budget.
“It was a shoestring undertak- ing, but transformational,” Leers says. Here too, the key to design was flexibility.
Originally constructed in 1958, the building’s 650-seat auditorium was too big for most performances yet had a small lobby, and it lacked rooms for rehearsal, props and tech. The building also looked uninvit- ing from the street, with an oppressive blank wall above the entrance. Leers Weinzapfel moved the entry to a new side courtyard that doubles as out- door performance space, while wrapping the facade in a dy- namic perforated screen.
Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification and to use en- ergy 20 percent more efficiently than code requires, the Gordon Center’s interior redesign in- cludes a smaller 490-seat the- ater — saving space for both a larger lobby (it too can host per- formances) — and a 120-seat black-box theater on the second

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