Bard College Performing Arts Lab

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

A new, 25,000 square foot building of studios to support the theatre and dance departments at Bard College and the artists in residence of the Fisher Center for the Arts.

render courtesy of Maya Lin Studio

Bard College’s reputation for innovative education is matched by the creativity of its faculty and student body. The Fisher Center for the Arts at Bard has expanded Bard’s cultural prominence nationally and internationally with its acclaimed programming and its incubation of new work through its artist in residence program.

As host to multiple productions throughout the year in its theatre and concert hall, as well as developmental work by the artists in residence, a full roster of theatre and dance classes weekly, and student rehearsals, the Fisher Center is bursting at the seams and there was an urgent need for additional space. A new studio building designed by Maya Lin, sensitively integrated into the surrounding meadow, will complement the nearby Fisher Center and provide a suite of rehearsal studios arranged around a central gathering core, as well as a natural outdoor amphitheatre for informal performances.

The new studios support and complement the existing performance facilities at the Fisher Center. Working in close collaboration with the artistic leadership of the Fisher Center and Bard theatre and dance faculty, Charcoalblue is designing the studios to respond to a scaled level of programming need and ambitions. Dance and Theatre teaching spaces have a simpler level of user-friendly technical infrastructure, while the studio for new work development that encourages and enables artists to integrate new technologies into their developmental work. Just as the building is designed to encourage collision and communication between students, artists, faculty and guests, the studios are also connected digitally to expand the possibilities for performance and creation across multiple spaces. Charcoalblue is further providing acoustic design across the building, ensuring that the studios can (and will!) be used concurrently throughout the day.

“Collaborating with Charcoalblue on the development of our new studio building has been absolutely invaluable. The team has taken great care to understand our needs, and to offer realistic, practical, and forward-thinking options to us at every stage of the process. They are advocates and trusted colleagues, technically expert and refreshingly free of jargon and corporate-speak. Our work together is a true partnership.”

Gideon Lester, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Fisher Center at Bard & Senior Curator, Center for Human Rights and the Arts

Project Details


Maya Lin Studio


Bialosky and Partners




In progress

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John Owens is a Charcoalblue Partner responsible for our North American practice.

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