Snøhetta Reveals New Design of the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth University

Snohetta and Ivy League University Dartmouth revealed images of the upcoming expansion and redesign to the Hopkins Center for the Arts (the Hop), in Hanover, New Hampshire. This project will modernize the campus’s existing arts center and create an improved gateway to its Arts District. New practice and performance areas, better connections to the surrounding buildings of the arts, and improved accessibility and mobility will all be part of the new architecture.

The new center will be expanded and redesigned to bring together audiences and artists in a revitalized facility that preserves the building’s historic heritage. New interactive experiences for the audience and more rehearsal and production spaces will be offered by the building. This will allow artists and audiences to create new forms of performance art and complement the original architecture of Wallace K. Harrison’s Hop. Snohetta kept the iconic arches of the building and its presence on The Green. She also preserved the community-loved spaces such as the “Top of the Hop”, Moore Theatre and Spaulding Auditorium.

Courtesy of Snøhetta & Methanoia

Visitors, students, residents, and staff of Hanover all have their experiences shaped by the geography of the region. This is evident in the design of the campus. The combination of “rugged” and “ruched” is visible throughout the town’s landscape. The campus’ central entrance, The Green, is connected by the building. It also serves as a gathering point for students, staff, visitors, and staff. The design is influenced by the nearby mountains and local ecologies to promote The Hop’s welcoming spirit.

The design of the exterior plaza is inspired by the curves of the mid-20th century building. It has been sculpted to allow for intuitive movement and guide visitors to places where they can gather, meet, or enter. It was designed to enhance the lives of students and faculty and offer a glimpse into how the building’s arts processes are transforming.

Courtesy of Snøhetta & Methanoia

The creative potential of diversity is represented by the voices of audiences, an ensemble, or the dance video’s production team. We are thrilled to continue the Hop’s legacy of pioneering artistic collaboration and creative expression. This includes bringing new rehearsal and production space to the building. This will ensure that the building is available for all perspectives and allows for continued support. — Craig Dykers, Snohetta Founding Partner

Courtesy of Snøhetta & Methanoia

The Forum is the new lobby. It will host students, faculty and staff all day and audiences before and after performances. The forum is connected to the second floor via a central staircase. This connects the new Recital hall and the Performance Lab to the ground floor and plaza. The Recital Hall, which seats 150 people, is a glass-enclosed lantern with stunning views over the plaza. It also offers spectacular views of The Baker Library Tower and the Sugar Maples on The Green. The tapered, arch-framed windows have a curved mullion system that allows for floods of light to enter. The space has state-of the-art audio-visual equipment, which will allow students to create performance media and transform the Hop into a broadcasting centre for digital performances.

Courtesy of Snøhetta & Methanoia

A new Dance Studio is located below the forum. It has a partially submerged rehearsal area and north-facing, clerestory windows. This allows natural light to flood in and gives glimpses of the plaza tree canopy. The studio’s 24-foot ceiling height and well-lit interiors make it the perfect place for dancers to practice. Spaulding Auditorium, the theatre that seats 900, will be renovated. The Top of the Hop will also be upgraded, which is a popular gathering place in the Dartmouth community. The project will also include a redesign of several spaces at the Hop’s lower levels, including the Theater Rehearsal Lab.