project details

University of Dubuque

Straka Johnson Architects

Theatre Consultant
Schuler Shook

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University of Dubuque, Heritage Center

With a vibrant Fine and Performing Arts department that subsisted almost entirely in "found" spaces, the University's new 77,000-square-foot facility weaves together appreciation for the arts, an invitation to participate in them, and the religious underpinnings of its mission in a building that is at once a central part of the campus and an invitation to the community. A 1,000-seat performance and worship space, fitted with a pipe organ, is configured to accommodate much smaller gatherings without overwhelming them and is home to the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra. A rehearsal room, teaching spaces, and practice rooms support the music department while an experimental theatre and its support spaces give the theatre program a permanent home. Public space is conceived as a student center at the heart of the campus to reinforce the invitation to participate.