For the past two years, GBR Architects has been working with Dr. Jo Allen, president, and facilities staff at Meredith College to realize improvements to their 1974 Kresge Auditorium. The Meredith example is one of numerous such campus facilities sprinkled over the US higher ed landscape by the Kresge Foundation, under the leadership of Sebastian S. Kresge, an American retail icon, who supported the arts on a large scale. Perhaps the most famous of these is the MIT version, designed by Eero Saarinen which opened in 1955. Meredith’s version is part of the Cate Student Center, designed by local Raleigh architect Valand Benzing Associates.
Under Dr. Allen’s leadership the project goals sought to completely transform the original space by creating a warm and friendly atmosphere unlike the previous version, improve accessibility and sightlines, update A/V and student connectivity while enlarging the performance area to support a variety of uses. By all measurement these have been achieved. In a short-form integrated project delivery method, GBR Architects worked hand-in-hand with Meredith’s Facilities Services and Inland Construction to meet the financial and time demands for the renovated space.
Meredith College, over a century in the making, is a thriving campus focused on educating women and preparing them for extraordinary achievement. The campus is located in Raleigh, NC, center of the Research Triangle which supports over 115,000 higher education students at local institutions.