Allegheny College, Vukovich Center for Communication Arts

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Allegheny College, Vukovich Center for Communication Arts

Conceived as a teaching theater, the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts eliminates barriers between "front of house" and "back of house" spaces, demystifying the production and performance of drama, television and related communication arts.

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The Vukovich Center is itself performative; the structure functions as a stage as well as housing stages to expand opportunities for creativity.

Todd Schliemann, Design Partner
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The Center places the arts at the center of Allegheny College, metaphorically and physically. Its strategic placement creates an arts quadrangle on Allegheny’s campus, exposing students to the arts and linking the structure with the student center while rationalizing a significant grade change.

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The building’s exterior palette of zinc, glass and red and dark gray iron-spot brick accentuate its simple volumes and reference the campus context.

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A traditional proscenium theater layout was adapted to create a flexible performance space that enables actors to enter and exit either backstage or through the audience, creating an engaging, intimate and participatory theater experience.

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A central outdoor gathering space blurs the distinction between inside and outside: it engages the building interior by means of a glazed curtain wall, whose transparency is underscored through the use of low-iron glass.

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The new technologically-advanced facilities enhance collaboration among disciplines, enable innovative new teaching methods, and allow the department to enrich its programs in the communications arts.

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Meadville, PA
40,000 GSF
250-seat Proscenium Theater, Black-Box Theater, Costume Shop, Dressing Room, Television Studio, Production Space, Media Screening Room, Department Office


Design Partner
Todd Schliemann
Management Partner
Timothy Hartung
Project Designer
Brian Masuda
Project Manager
Molly McGowan
Design Team
Chris Andreacola, Charles Brainerd, Matthew Dionne, Amber Foo, Youngsun Ko, Kenichiro Mito, Charmian Place, Allison Reeves, Maura Rogers, James Sinks, Madeleine Sun, Akari Takebayashi, Todd Van Varick


  • 2010
    • AIA New York State Excellence in Design
    • AIA Pittsburgh Honor Award for Architecture
    • USITT 2010 Architecture Merit Award
    • Award of Excellence, Society of American Registered Architects/Pennsylvania Council


  • 2009
    • McHugh, Sharon. "Perfect Performance" (World Architecture News, 10/22/2009)
    • "Polshek design Vukovich Arts Center" (World Interior Design Network, 10/30/2009)
    • Tysischney, Josh. "The Curtain rises on the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts" (Allegheny Magazine, 2009 Winter/Spring)
    • "Vukovich Center for Communication Arts by Polshek Partnership Architects, United States" (Top Box Design, 11/6/2009)
  • 2008
    • Nobel, Philip. "Not Your Standard Polshek Project" (Metropolis, 7/16/2008)
  • 2007
    • "Allegheny College Vukovich Center Construction" (, 8/16/2007)


Jeff Goldberg/Esto, Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects