Orcutt Winslow
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Harmonizing Silence and Spectacle: Crafting a Perfect Stage

Youngker High School Performing Arts Center

Buckeye, AZ

The space that functions best for performance is the space that asserts itself least into the experience of the audience. It must be visually, acoustically, and environmentally distraction-free so that the attention of the audience is uninterrupted. This was the space needed for the 600-seat performing arts center at Youngker High School in Buckeye, Arizona. Being a 21,000 SF addition to an existing campus, the design had to meet the challenge of blending into a distinct aesthetic derived from the rural heritage of the surroundings. Another challenge faced by the design was that of consistent jet noise from an active U.S. Air Force base nearby. Walls, ceilings, and roofs were designed to mitigate this noise using deep sections and dense insulation. While creating these dramatic spaces, the design had to also meet budget constraints. To do so, the systems of the building were kept simple and straightforward, resulting in an elegance of form. Likewise, items of practical essence, such as columns and stairs, were celebrated.