Colby College
Gordon Center for Creative + Performing Arts



Gordon Center for Creative + Performing Arts


Colby College


Waterville, ME




71,220 GSF


The Arts, Campus Innovations

The Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts is a laboratory that strengthens partnerships with artists and arts organizations, increases access to world-class performances, and demonstrates Colby’s commitment to the performing arts. The building is one of the most advanced and innovative performing arts facilities in New England with uniquely flexible, multipurpose spaces for teaching, performing, working, and creating that will provide transformational opportunities and experiences for Colby students and the broader community.

For the first time on Colby’s campus, the Theater and Dance, Music, and Cinema departments will be housed under one roof creating a “balance” of arts on campus. Campus pathways lead to major entrances where students and visitors not associated with the arts witness “creating” in action as they move through the Forum to the campus beyond.

The Gordon Center’s three 2,500-square-foot studios each have a particular focus but can be used interchangeably or collectively by multiple departments. The 300-seat performance hall hosts a unique set of acoustical options that can be customized depending on the type of performance. The flexibility and diversity of the venues and support spaces will enable the faculty to use a variety of teaching tools flexibly over time in support of their department’s pedagogy.

“The Gordon Center is a stunningly beautiful facility... It is a technically sophisticated building that invites explorations of new artistic expression in ways that will ensure our performing arts programs flourish.”

David A. Greene, President, Colby College

The Arts Incubator space, Performance Hall, and three studios open into the Forum, the beating heart of the building. Designed to enable everyone in the building to visually interact with the energy of creating, it brings together the various disciplines, breaking down independent silos that are often found in performance spaces. Views into practice rooms, offices, meeting rooms, classrooms, and scene shop showcase the creative process along interior hallways. An undulating glass façade along the Forum and abundant glazing in the Performance Hall showcases the creative activities happening within the building on a nightly basis.


Structural Engineer | LeMessurier Consultants, Inc.

Mechanical / Electrical Engineer | Vanderweil Engineers

Civil Engineer | Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc.

Landscape Architect | Wolf Landscape Architecture

Geo-Technical Engineer | S.W. Cole Engineering

Lighting Design | Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design

Theater Consultant | Nextstage Design

Acoustical Engineer | Kirkegaard

AV Consultant | Kirkegaard

Sustainable Design Consultant | Thornton Tomasetti

Cost Estimator | Venue Consulting

Photographer | Robert Benson

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