Prior Performing Arts Center



The 84,000 sf Prior Performing Arts Center for the College of the Holy Cross has been designed to be an incubator for multidisciplinary learning that will support creative collaboration among students from all academic disciplines. Standing as the cultural center of the school—with venues for both fine arts and performing arts—the building houses a 400-seat proscenium theatre, a 200-seat flexible studio space, and the relocated Cantor Art Gallery.

Anchoring the Upper District of campus, the Center gathers together existing vectors of campus circulation at its heart: the Beehive. Around this central space the programs are divided into four pavilions: the Multipurpose Theater for opera and music, the Studio Theater for drama, Art/Media, and Practice/Production. From the vantage point of the Beehive, production spaces such as the scene shop and multi–use practice rooms are visible next to refined performance spaces and the white box gallery, revealing the process of artistic output to the campus community and ensuring that the house never goes dark.

Live site updates can be seen here.

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  • Corner entry
  • View of beehive from bar
  • Proscenium
  • Large rehearsal studio
  • Media lab
  • Public entry
  • Studio theater gallery
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Project information
Size (GSF)84000LocationWorcester, United States
Commission2015Construction Begins2019Structure Tops Out2020
PartnersCharles Renfro,Elizabeth Diller,Benjamin Gilmartin,and Ricardo Scofidio
Project DirectorMiles Nelligan
TeamJeremy Boon-Bordenave,Emily Vo Nguyen,Tyler Polich,Anthony Saby,Charles Curran,Deniz Haklar,Quy Le,Evan Farley,and Ayat Fadaifard
External credits
Perry Dean RogersExecutive Architect
Jaffe HoldenAcoustics & Audio / Visual
Nitsch EngineeringCivil Engineer
Code Red ConsultantsCode Consultant
Dharam ConsultingCost Estimator
Colburn & GuyetteFoodservice Consultant
Haley AldrichGeotechnical
Campbell-McCabe, Inc. Hardware Specifications
Shen Milson & WilkeIT / Security
OlinLandscape Architect
Tillotson Design AssociatesLighting
Altieri Sebor WieberMEP / FP Engineer
Construction Specifications, Inc. Specifications
Robert Silman AssociatesStructural Engineer
Fisher Dachs Associates, Inc. Theater Planning
    Photography by Brett Beyer