Friday, July 27, 2012

Winchester Cultural Center: Dance Studio Room Addition

Next month, construction launches on an approximately 1,400 SF Dance Studio Room addition to the Winchester Cultural Center.  This center has cultivated the arts and beautiful desert gardens for decades.  It’s been an honor and pleasure to work with Patrick Gaffey, center director, and the talented instructors, in designing this great addition for the arts.  It’s our aspiration that this dance studio addition will inspire community members of all ages to continue to advance their talents.

The inspiration for the dance studio was taking the outdoor atmosphere indoors.  Inside the dance studio, a decorative tree sculpture with shelving serves as a “pride wall” and welcomes students.  This tree motif, echoed on the natural linoleum entrance floor and walls, enlivens and energizes both place and participants.  Easily accessed cubbies provide quick transition from daily routine into the class setting.  Alcoves on the east and west walls serve multiple purposes for the dance studio: storage, seating, acoustics, and daylighting.  An acoustical bi-fold door separates the shared storage area from the dance studio.

The dance studio is enhanced with energy efficient tubular skylights, acoustic ceiling, acoustic panels, adjustable ballet barres, glassless mirrors, resilient sprung floor for the dance surface, and new signage.  The new sound system is state of the art audio with mixer, wireless microphone receiver, and a solid-state recorder enhances the functionality of the studio, and is all designed to hide within a tilt-out cabinet.  Large windows provide daylighting, and natural ventilation.  Customizable thermal settings and wall-mounted electric fans give the dancers additional control over their comfort.

The comfortable and inviting interior is enhanced by carefully selected exterior elements.  The high Dance Studio massing creates a bookend effect and integrates with the Auditorium at the opposite end of the classroom spine, and its interior space is perfect for a dancer’s flying lift.

For outside masonry walls we specified Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) increasing the R-value from 1.7 to 13.  The roof has two-ply insulation for an R-value of 30 versus 20.  These wall and roof insulation systems exceed minimum code requirements and result in less demand for interior heating and cooling, adding to the sustainability of the project.  The cold rolled, corrugated, weathered steel at the exterior of alcove saddlebags drew inspiration from the Flamingo Wash trailhead arch and art.  This material is 100% recyclable and is up to 30% recycled or post consumer materials.

Desert landscaping integrates with the established gardens.  A drip irrigation system is also designed to accommodate future gardens planned by the Friends of Winchester.

This $500K project for Clark County brings Wright Engineers, KJE Consulting Engineers, and Sound Design International together with our team at Anne Johnson, AIA.  Kety Allred is RPM's Design and Construction Administrator for the project.  Contract for construction awarded to Pesavento Construction.

Perspective Sketches of Dance Studio

Rendering of Dance Studio