All the World's a Stage
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design of the outdoor theater, to be situated at the corner of the
grassy dance area opposite the pool, is still in flux. But one of
Yudell's inspirations is a Balinese pavilion that Mitoma -- an Indonesian
dance expert -- recognized at an early showing as the structure
located adjacent to her daughter's house in Bali. Regarding this
new al fresco theater Yudell, explains, "From the beginning we've
wanted to find a balance between near total openness, in the tradition
of the Balinese pavilion, or a courtyard in a village, while at
the same time recognizing that we're in a dense campus context.
We're trying to walk a fine line."
the most exciting design element thus far is Yudell's superimposition
of a mandala pattern over the peristyle of columns remaining from
what was once the extensive ground-floor locker room of the Women's
Gym. Taking the "world" moniker of the department very seriously,
Yudell considered at one time building walls that would have resembled
the option that proved most pleasing from both aesthetic and practical
standpoints involved configuring the ground floor as a series of
squares layered upon circles, accommodating a curving boulevard
that sweeps through the middle of the building. This classic mandala
pattern is significant in that it quotes a genre of visual art associated
with Tibet, an endangered world culture. But the design also made
it possible for Yudell to lay out a series of byways that encourage
relaxed connection, deftly capturing the ethos of WAC.
of the wonderful things about working with a historic building,"
Yudell observes, "is that flexibility needn't mean blandness or
complete neutrality. You can be in a building that makes a strong
statement and still change it. And this is a case of one of the
oldest buildings on campus being used for one of the most experimental
perhaps WAC will finally have a building capable of supporting the
bustling activity within it. And the prospective students, when
they come, will want to stay.
Development Writer Lisa Waring contributed to this article.