The Atlantic Center for the Arts

New Smyrna Beach, Florida

The Atlantic Center for the Arts offers residency programs in a lush Florida setting for writers, dancers, visual artists, composers, choreographers, and actors. The program includes a black box theater, painting and sculpting studios, recording studios, a dance studio, a library and various support spaces. The design includes six buildings made of wood, glass, and metal, interwoven into an indigenous landscape, linked by an elevated boardwalk.

In an attempt to tread more lightly on the earth, the buildings are designed to extend the seasons in which air conditioning does not have to be utilized. Louvers on all east, west and south-facing glass keep out the intensive Florida sun, as do deep western overhangs. Cross-ventilation is utilized throughout, and all the buildings—with the exception of the sculpture studio—rest on pilotis above the ground, which allows cooling ventilation on the grade level. The project included an intensive value engineering process, as building costs were refined and regularly reviewed, allowing the project to come in below budget. 

The Atlantic Center for the Arts has received two State of Florida grants, a 1995 American Wood Council Design Honor Award, and a 1995 Progressive Architecture Citation. Project was with Thompson and Rose Architects.