Photo of Arts and Communication Magnet Academy (ACMA)
Photo of Arts and Communication Magnet Academy (ACMA)
Photo of Arts and Communication Magnet Academy (ACMA)
Photo of Arts and Communication Magnet Academy (ACMA)
Photo of Arts and Communication Magnet Academy (ACMA)
Photo of Arts and Communication Magnet Academy (ACMA)

Ⓒ Shane Parker

Arts and Communication Magnet Academy (ACMA)

A Premier Performance Space

Founded in 1992 as an alternative educational program, the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy in Beaverton, OR, has transformed into an award-winning arts school with an annual waiting list of 300. For their new $9 million, 21,000 SF facility, our design uses form, materiality, and movement to tell the story of an academy that puts its heart and soul into art. It sets the stage for visitors to immerse in the art school's disciplines and serves as an inspiring venue to educate new generations of artists and performers.

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Beaverton, Oregon
COMPLETED IN 2010
  • 400 seats
  • 21000 sq. ft.
MARKET

Community

DISCIPLINES

Architecture , Interiors

PROJECT TYPE

Cultural

PROJECT CONTACT

Architecture: Scott Waggoner

Interiors: Karen Bowery

community@ankrommoisan.com


Architecture Story

Setting the Stage

Architecture Photo of Arts and Communication Magnet Academy (ACMA)

Ⓒ Shane Parker

Dance. Singing. Theatre. Visual arts. The Arts and Communications Magnet Academy (ACMA) educates the next generation of visionaries in Beaverton, OR. This publicly funded organization is committed to academic and artistic excellence, but their ad hoc facilities in an old airplane hangar couldn’t effectively meet their program needs, much less their ideals. Our new design gives ACMA the premier performance facility in the district: a theater that’s physically smaller than many other school auditoria but outfitted with over $1 million in lighting and sound systems for true pre-professional training. The concept of a “performance before a performance” inspires our design. From the moment a person enters the site, they experience art. A curving canopy catches the eye with a form that hints at a grand piano, cello, or guitar. Silver, black, and red exterior finishes—colors with high contrast—speak of drama. Dancing columns re?ect at night, then cast shadows by day, moving and shifting against the landscape. The architecture abstracts music and dance through sinuous curves and slanted columns, as if a dancer paused in midmotion. Once visitors are drawn inside, into this architectural dance, the soaring art gallery spaces give them a dramatic setting for visual arts in all forms. Large windows reveal student work, manifesting the school’s “show the world what we do” directive. The 150’ long West Gallery is rhythmically punctuated by north-facing offsets that create “eddies” in the gallery, with custom display and acoustic dividers; from outside, this rhythm hints at a giant musical score, with the sawtooth steps suggesting measures and the windows suggesting notes. Architecturally, these break up the space. Programmatically, they support critiques for multiple classes. ACMA’s dance program supports over 200 students, so their new facility had to accommodate not only a stage and wings but back-of-house. Our solution: a secondary black box performance space that holds up to 80 people for performances and acts as a large green room for dance productions. The 400-seat main stage echoes the building’s exterior (and replaces a Quonset hut that had been converted into a lunchroom and performance space). Three different gallery spaces make up for the previous building’s limited display space. Color and light communicate ACMA’s passion for the arts. Red is always present at the building’s core, its figurative heart. At night, light on the roof turn the upper walls of the main stage into glowing announcement of a show in progress.

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Interior Story

Performance and Art

Through dance, singing, theatre, and visual arts, the Arts and Communications Magnet Academy (ACMA) educates the next generation of artists in Beaverton, OR. This publicly funded organization is committed to academic and artistic excellence, but for decades, their facilities in an old airplane hangar could neither meet their program needs nor live up to their ideals: It lacked performance space, art galleries, and back-of-house areas, a Quonset hut held their lunchroom, and their sole gallery was a small classroom. Integrating interior design and architecture within our core concept of “performance before the performance,” our design gives ACMA the premier performance facility in the district. Their new facility includes a theater that’s physically smaller than many other school auditoria but outfitted with over $1 million in lighting and sound systems for true pre-professional training. Two new performance spaces, three art galleries, and a green room completely transform ACMA’s campus. With over 200 dance students, ACMA's new facility had to accommodate not only a stage and wings to meet their needs, but back-of-house for so many performers. Our solution is a secondary black box performance space that holds up to 80 people for performances and serves as a large green room for dance productions. The West Gallery is the largest of ACMA’s new art galleries. Large windows showcase student work, manifesting the school’s “show the world what we do” directive. The 150’ long West Gallery is rhythmically punctuated by north-facing offsets that create “eddies” with custom display and acoustic dividers; these, along with a mesh divider, break up the inside space and reduce the noise of multiple simultaneous classes. Multiple video screens and three types of display systems offer plenty of space for student art. Another gallery space is the main lobby area, through which patrons move to reach the 400-seat main stage. Despite the gallery height, our careful acoustic treatment creates an environment quiet enough for classes, receptions, and concerts. Heading to the main stage, performance-goers enter a constricted vestibule that builds anticipation before expanding to reveal the main stage, saturated in red—a beautiful yet simple transitional detail that expresses ACMA’s passion for the arts. We achieved near-perfect acoustics by carefully using reflective clouds, absorptive panels, and second-level drapery. The black box theatre’s inherently adjustable nature responds to nearly every musical and dramatic need, and it's outfitted with professional equipment for technical training at all levels, from a full fly with catwalks to robotic lighting operated with sophisticated software.

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