Alton Auditorium, Richard Stockton College
Richard Stockton College, founded in 1968, is a liberal arts college on a 1,600-acre campus in the town of Pomona in the southeastern New Jersey Pinelands. The original, linear campus buildings were designed by Robert Geddes of Geddes Brecher Qualls Cunningham Architects, and have remained largely unchanged since first constructed. Alton Auditorium was completed as part of this original wave of campus construction. The auditorium is set within a simple rectangular volume, and its raked floor accommodates approximately 220 seats facing a low platform. A second floor projection room overlooks the space, while catwalks along either side provide access to light poles. The auditorium's uses include classes, performances, lectures, rehearsals, and meetings.
The renovation of the Auditorium, an important Modern space, presented special challenges, from lighting and acoustical deficiencies to general lack of accessibility. The project team worked first to understand the architectural and historical significance of the space through research and hands-on inspection of its design and materials. This was followed by careful and comprehensive programming to determine the needs of the users and the best ways in which to accommodate them.
The renovation was led by M+Sa principal Michael Schnoering, AIA.* The project incorporated upgrades to finishes, lighting and acoustics, audio-visual equipment, seating and storage, as well as the creation of a new reception area outside the auditorium and improved infrastructure.
*working as Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects, LLC.