Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA
Mark Simon of Centerbrook Architects and Planners has closely collaborated with Murray Associates on the Lancaster Country Day School’s new Gardner Theater building wing, long sought as a whole-school venue to host performances and assemblies for the school and the surrounding community.
For its sophisticated and state-of-the-art design, Gardner Theatre – Lancaster Country Day School has recently been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The theater features an advanced design, with 580 seats, an orchestra pit, state-of-the-art lighting, acoustics, and fly space.
With a full-sized stage and professional theater fittings, the $13 million facility hosts the school’s musical and theatrical performances, graduation, and lectures.
Its flexible acoustics are designed to support a full range of shows, from the spoken word to Lancaster’s symphony orchestra.
Technical elements, like overhead catwalks that are railed and accessed from staircases, are designed to be safe so that students can participate in all elements of theatrical production, from lighting to the scenery at a professional level.
This hands-on experience is invaluable in preparation for college theater programs.
The theater walls are finished in white oak panel bands that angle in and out of the plane to amplify acoustics and hide indirect lighting.
The exterior of the building follows the school’s tradition of white walls with horizontal banding.
Project: Gardner Theatre – Lancaster Country Day School
Architects: Centerbrook Architects and Planners
Lead Architect: Mark Simon
Associate Architects: Murray Associates Architects
General Contractor: Wohlsen Construction Company
Client: Lancaster Country Day School
Photographers: Peter Aaron/OTTO