Seton Hill Arts Center

Architects: designLAB architects and BSHM Architects

Location: Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Award of Excellence

This new performing and visual arts facility at Seton Hill University channels the Pittsburgh area's heritage with a steel frame and metal-clad exterior.

Seton Hill University’s new performing and visual arts facility is an interdisciplinary arts center that connects the local community with members of the university. Channeling the Pittsburgh area’s industrial heritage, the steel frame and metal-clad building was conceived as a “Factory for the Arts.” The project features an outdoor Arts Yard where the making of 3D arts is visible from the commercial Main Street in its host city of Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

The four-level facility features a full complement of studio spaces for traditional disciplines like painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, dance and theater, along with tech-heavy digital and graphic arts. The new building is an economic catalyst for the city’s cultural district, drawing local artists, gallery observers, and performing arts attendees to support and critique student work.

Jury comments

The building celebrates arts while animating the city. The distribution of the program energizes its surroundings. The project invites people off the street to engage with the making of art. The building presents a blank canvas for the display of student work. The team manipulated two different scales to address the different sides of the building. The interior public spaces are well connected to the public context. The building emphasized the importance of the interdisciplinary nature of art by visually connecting most spaces to the arts yard.

Additional information

MEP Engineer: Karpinski Engineering

Structural Engineer: Paller & Associates

Civil Engineer: Gateway


2016 Education Facility Design Awards Jury

Karina Ruiz, AIA (Chair), DOWA-IBI Group Architects

Helena L. Jubany, FAIA, NAC/Architecture

Steve Ziger, AIA, Ziger/Snead Architects

Cristina C. Alvarez, Ed.D, Delaware Design Lab High School

Bruce Lindsey, Washington University in St. Louis

Zachary Neubauer, University of Portland

Image credits

Seton Hill Arts Center

Jonathan Hillyer

Seton Hill Arts Center

Jonathan Hillyer

Seton Hill Arts Center

Jonathan Hillyer

Seton Hill Arts Center

Jonathan Hillyer