DS+R Prior Performing Arts Center is designed as a public commons, Wallpaper, Oct. 5, 2022.
The interaction of concrete and steel, mirroring the brick and limestone of Holy Cross’ historic campus, plays with ideas of backstage and public presentation, merging expressiveness and function, one of the hallmarks of the Diller Scofidio + Renfro office. The designers analysed the college’s needs and the building’s anticipated uses and devised a site plan that inadvertently, they claim, happens to form a cross. ‘We love doing academic work,’ says Charles Renfro, the lead principal designer. ‘We know that they want a pedagogical tool that also demonstrates the pedagogy.’
Last year, Vincent D Rougeau became the school’s first non-ordained president. He says liberal arts education is a natural extension of the Jesuit order, which since its origins has been known for intellectual inquiry and embrace of the arts. ‘Since our earliest days, we’ve been focused on humanities, arts, and science, and we see all of those coming together as a path to wisdom,’ he says. ‘This centre is going to help us elevate all of those pieces in a stunning new space and communicate to the world all of the aspects of what makes a liberal arts education great.’