Fisher Center, Bard College
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
|The $64-million performing arts center houses Bard College’s opera, dance and musical productions as well as the theatrical teaching facilities. The 860-seat, 64,000 sf performance auditorium and rigging tower are made of tall, slender, cast-in-place concrete walls. The first and second balcony seating sections cantilever from these walls and are carefully balanced with the hallway floors outside the auditorium. The 420-seat teaching theater is housed in a reinforced concrete masonry auditorium and rigging tower. The exterior of the buildings, which envelop the functional boxes, embodies the signature Frank Gehry metal “skin.” The complex, compound, sinuous curves, which are computer generated, define the form to which the thin stainless steel sheathing follows. Behind the “skin” are custom built steel members placed at 10-ft increments. The shape of each unique piece is defined in the 3D modeling package CATIA and is translated and imported into advanced place cutting machines. The final product is a unique harmony of steel and concrete with the versatility to house almost any size and type of performance.