Palmetto Fine and Performing Arts Center

Location: San Antonio, Texas
Client: Alamo Colleges
Completion Date: July 2009
General Contractor: Bartlett Cocke
Project Size: 65,000 SF
Structural Engineer: Jaster Quintanilla
MEP Engineer: Goetting Associates
Civil Engineer: CDS Meury Services
Landscape Architect: SWA/Bender Wells Clark Design
Building Code/Life Safety: PDI, Inc
Cost Estimating: Project Cost Resources
Recognition / Awards / Publication: Texas Architect January/February 2011

The Palmetto Fine & Performing Arts Center includes a 400 seat Proscenium theater and a100 seat Black Box Theater, Music Suite, Visual Arts Classroom Wing, and faculty offices.  Located at the eastern edge of the campus, this building was conceived as a community building with public performances, as well as a Learning facility for the students. Dance, Music, Drama and the Performing Arts all have spaces that open to the main foyer. This foyer is the face of the building that opens onto the new campus green, looking down the hill to the new Lake. The foyer is designed as a pre & post-function space, also contain­ing gallery space for the Fine Arts students’ work. Alamo took advantage of the volume of the fly tower to use it as a marquee for the building.

An outdoor courtyard separates the Performing Arts from the Fine Arts. This courtyard also serves as a pre & post-function gallery for large outdoor pieces. The fine arts wing has expanses of north facing glass, and private, covered outdoor studio space for sculpture and ceramics. Both Fine Arts & Performing Arts share a large shop at the rear of the building.

This building takes the soaring roof eaves that point up, not down, of the new campus and converts them to a wave pattern on the new fly-tower. Also protecting the west-facing façade is a deep overhang, echoing this wave pattern. This façade will be visible through the existing trees maintained on the new campus green. The Fine Arts & Faculty wings bracket the building with simple shed roofs that open to north-facing clerestories. The public entry on the southern face of the building is bordered by masonry elements, and a piece of the wave shaped awning.