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Earlham College Center for Visual + Performing Arts

Richmond, IN

Earlham College Center for Visual + Performing Arts

Richmond, IN

At Earlham, our design team was challenged to provide students with modern facilities on a modest budget, in a way that expresses the college’s unique Quaker values. Previous arts facilities were dispersed across campus and woefully obsolete, but our approach gathered the full array of visual and performing arts into a central location offering dedicated spaces for theater, music, metals, painting, drawing, photography, weaving, ceramics and art history.

Taking advantage of collocating such diverse uses in a single structure, we conceived of this building as a “meeting house” for the arts. The design centers on the Living Room where students can come together and connect with each other. Offices for faculty orbit the second level of this double height space, enabling them to participate in the daily social life of the school while maintaining privacy.

The project’s two primary performance spaces, a 250-seat music recital hall and a 125-seat black box theater, exemplify versatility in service to quality. Lingle Music Hall is a multi-modal performance hall, rehearsal space, hall, banquet hall, recording studio and classroom – sometimes all in a single day. McDaniel Studio Theater, unlike most “black box” theaters, employs natural light and a subtle color scheme to create a humane classroom while preserving the ability to black-out for a performance.

With both the recital hall and theater opening into the Living Room, teaching spaces wrap the perimeter of the building bringing in natural light and exposing the campus beyond to the rich activity and work within.




LEED Gold Certified


Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf
Shuler Shook
Halvorson & Partners
Kramer & Associates
Threshold Acoustics