2016 | North Carolina Museum of Art | Raleigh, NC

The NC Museum of Art engaged Szostak Design to renovate the museum’s existing education spaces – including a multi-purpose auditorium, classrooms, offices, conference center and exterior courtyard – to create a vibrant, interactive space for the public to experience the arts.

The auditorium and associated lobby space required an update to the original mid-1970s design. The renovation maximized the flexibility of the space to accommodate the facility’s wide range of uses – film viewings, lectures, live art demonstrations, dance and musical performances. Acoustical solutions were implemented to accommodate both natural and amplified performances, and seating was reconfigured to create better sightlines to the stage. New interior finishes – warm wood panels, brightly colored seating and glimmering fabrics – transformed the look and feel of the space.

This palate was carried from the auditorium to the lobby to create a seamless transition between the two spaces. Additional accessible restrooms, a vending area and gallery display areas were also added to the lobby space.

The classroom space was reconfigured to allow for one large space that can be subdivided with movable panels. Original glass walls were re-exposed to connect the studios to the exterior courtyard and extend the learning space to the outdoors.

This project also included the distance learning center, located on the lowest level of the museum. This space was updated with improved acoustics, finishes and technology, enabling the museum to broadcast and receive a wide variety of lectures, conferences and art demonstrations from around the world.

In addition, the museum’s art storage space was equipped with state-of-the-art HVAC and fire protection systems as well as custom racks to more efficiently house NCMA’s growing collection.

Photography by Karen Malinofskiy

With advanced technology integration and acoustic, functional and aesthetic upgrades, the Museum's Education Center has become an exemplary hub for art education.