Gonzaga University

Mrytle Woldson Performing Arts Center

Spokane, Washington

We are designed Gonzaga University’s new Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center, named for the Spokane resident, businesswoman and philanthropist, whose generous donation made the project a reality. Following a concurrent programming and site analysis process, which evaluated three potential locations, the western edge of campus was selected for its optimal point of arrival for patrons, its ideal relationship with campus circulation with River views, and for consistency with plans for future campus development. The 52,000-sf facility provides spaces for Music, Theater and Dance Department instruction, rehearsal and performance, and a multi-disciplinary Design Studio, while providing for enhanced engagement between the University and the Spokane community. In addition to an expansive lobby with views of the river, the first level includes a museum-like series of spaces that pay tribute to the donor by recreating her living room, dining room and foyer, as inspiration for students to pursue self-empowerment.

The Center’s design is informed by the sloping site and its relationship to the campus, the Spokane River and the city. The brick exterior respects the campus architectural vernacular, while the interior design adopts the river as a metaphor, evoking the force of time on the river: basalt outcroppings, stratified riverbanks and exposed fractured rock.

Project Data

Under construction
56,000 sf
Targeting LEED Gold

Program & Highlights

750-seat multipurpose theater
150-seat recital hall/rehearsal space
Multi-disciplinary design studio
Multi-level lobby