Kresge REimagined

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...

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