William C. Buck Hall is a recent addition to Lafayette College’s Williams Art Campus. The new facility enhances and supports the college’s theater, film and media programs, as well as promotes artistic engagement between the local community and Lafayette’s students. The 20,000 SF building features:
- 200-seat black box theater
- 180-seat screening room
- Media lab
- Box office
- Dressing rooms
- Control room
- Costume shops
The flexible black box theater allows students to develop experience in designing/performing in multiple settings, and also includes space for creating scenery and costumes. The 180-seat, high-quality screening room features advanced audiovisual systems and adjustable screens for various film sizes. Across the street, Whiting-Turner also renovated a building to include a TV/shooting studio, editing suites, rehearsal room, media classroom and offices.
The building was built in an active flood plain, so most of the occupied building space is housed on the second floor of the building. Care needed to be taken with the design and construction of the first floor to ensure it could withstand a flood event.
SEAT SCREENING ROOM
PROJECTS ON CAMPUS IN SIX YEARS
The Whiting-Turner team was instrumental in helping bring the project within budget. Because the facility is adjacent to Bushkill Creek and in an active flood plain, there were several geotechnical site challenges. The original design called for two very large, expensive micropile-supported retaining walls to be constructed, one of which was planned to be completely buried after its construction.
To replace one of the walls, Whiting-Turner worked with a supplier to identify an engineered, cementitious,
flowable fill solution that allowed us to backfill a substantial portion of the site without overloading the subsurface walls of the adjacent structure. For the other retaining wall, we suggested adjusting the location of the wall and changing it from a poured-in-place wall to a segmented block wall. Both solutions resulted in significant savings for LaFayette.
In all, these two solutions allowed the owner to save money without having to sacrifice any functional, program or building elements.