York School Department

Community Auditorium

York, Maine

The York Community Auditorium project was developed to replace an undersized, outdated, and poorly functioning auditorium that was built with the original school in 1977. In addition, the project includes a multi-purpose space for small athletic venues, and provides much-needed lobby space that also serves the gymnasium and cafeteria.

The auditorium house features a clear-span volume with stepped and angled seating that provides excellent sight-lines from each of the 750 seats. Harriman worked with a consultant to refine the acoustic performance of the space – an important characteristic for the school’s renowned choral ensemble. The auditorium is accessorized with a full fly gallery, ample stage and costume storage, and green rooms. The mechanical system is sound-isolated from the house, and air is supplied through a plenum below the seating for maximized comfort and efficiency.

Skylights and ample glazing in the lobby and multi-purpose spaces allow generous daylight and reduce artificial lighting needs. Overhead doors open the multi-purpose room up to the lobby for special events, and the lobby connects three outlying wings of the building while creating a secure courtyard off of the cafeteria.

The exterior form of the addition echoes the gentle curves of the adjacent music classroom addition, and the mass of the auditorium steps back from lower levels. The height is further softened by contrasting materials – an earthy masonry base and vertical metal panels above.