Charleston, South Carolina
A major venue for the Spoleto Festival, one of America’s premier performing arts festivals, the Gaillard Center has long been at the heart of the arts and cultural scene in Charleston. Accessing the original Gaillard Center was no longer able to adequately support the vibrant arts culture, the City embarked on a journey to build a world-class facility that offered both beauty and function. Now a point of pride for the citizens of Charleston, the reconstructed and expanded facility is the centerpiece of the Gaillard Center Arts Precinct. It was partially funded by the National Endowment for the arts and includes open-air public performance spaces and artistic infrastructure.
The City desired to build a facility that would complement the historic cityscape of Charleston while addressing the needs of the community and focusing on sustainability. The design team worked to ensure the City’s vision could be met incorporating many sustainable features into the project to achieve LEED® Certification while maintaining the City’s charm. In addition to energy efficient systems, construction waste management, and a classic architectural design, historic tree preservation and strategic access to public transportation were key elements in achieving this goal.
The reconstruction of the Gaillard Center presented several challenges for the design team, the largest being the functionality of the space. The City needed more than just a performing arts space; consolidated city offices as well as banquet space for events and conventions needed to be housed in the new facility. This diversity of needs meant the team had to accommodate different systems for each of the spaces as well as the needs of three different sets of end users. Through coordinated project management efforts and a focus on strong communication, the team successfully integrated the specific indoor environmental needs of the performing arts, office, and event spaces. The end result is a modern, efficient facility with state-of-the-art systems supporting each group.