Bora Reveals Design for New Fine Arts Center in Plano, TX

by Ashley Cartmel

Bora Is leading the design for a new Fine Arts Center for the Plano Independent School District in Texas in collaboration with architect-of-record, Perkins + Will. This-83,000-square-foot facility will serve and showcase the talent of students at all PISD schools, with state-of-the-art performance venues for music, theatre and dance as well as exhibition space for the visual arts.

The design includes a 1500-seat multi-purpose performance hall for band, orchestra and choir concerts, dance recitals, and musical theater productions. It also includes a large multi-modal rehearsal space for music and dance, a flexible studio theater with retractable seating, and an art gallery that accommodates both traditional artwork and digital media installations. The facility will allow the school district to host state University Interscholastic League (UIL) competitions and house major regional events for which PISD currently must rent venues. Outside, an informal outdoor performance venue will be available for community use.

The Fine Arts Center is located on a 16-acre site with wooded trails connecting to an adjacent city park. Each performance venue, along with its dedicated support spaces, is expressed as a separate concrete solid located within a transparent, glazed lobby space. Gaps between the venues allow daylight and views in all directions to the landscape beyond. During the UIL events, groups of students rotate through a series of competitive performances, making the entire building active student space.

The gallery is a lower volume which sits within and anchors the lobby. Art can be displayed both inside of the gallery and on its outer walls, providing opportunities to view art from all sides, including from outdoors. Above, the roof and ceiling are designed as a light-filled cloud made of metal mesh floating above the lobby and the open-topped gallery. The mesh filters daylight into the building through several large skylight openings which create a light filled, welcoming space for performances, banquets, and student mingling.

The Fine Arts Center is scheduled for completion in August 2020.

Perkins + Will (Dallas) is the Architect of Record.