Addition to Performing Arts Building Wins Design Award

Posted: November 17, 2011 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm

By Erin Cushing

The de Laski Performing Arts Building has always been a place for the Mason community to produce beautiful music, dance and theater pieces. Now the building itself is considered a thing of beauty, as its addition, which opened in 2010, was recently awarded the top prize in interior design from the American School & University magazine.

The Collegiate Citation is the highest honor in the magazine’s Educational Interiors Showcase.

The addition, designed and built by the Hughes Group Architects, added 20,416 square feet to the existing building.

The design combines style and utility, taking into consideration the specific needs of  performing arts students. The new band rehearsal room, percussion rehearsal hall and two dance galleries are all equipped with sound locks (highly absorptive walls, ceilings and carpeted floors) and high ceilings to accommodate students and minimize disruption to adjoining rooms.

The addition also included a clearly defined front entrance, reception and lobby space, student meeting areas, locker rooms for dance students, a gallery space and public restrooms.

The judging panel praised the addition for its combination of style and function.

“The striking space has an eye-catching entrance with a tasteful blend of graphics. Glass is well placed in the rehearsal area and studios,” notes the official judges’ comments. “This project uses a nontraditional approach for a venerated institution.”

The 2011 Collegiate Citation is featured in a two-page spread in the August issue of American School & University.

A two-page spread in American School & University magazine featuring the addition to the de Laski Performing Arts Building.

Write to gazette at