Wolfe Center for the Arts

June 11, 2012 /

Bowling Green, Ohio, USA

Photo: Bruce Damonte

Punctuating the expansive horizons of northwestern Ohio, the new Wolfe Center for the Arts at Bowling Green State University rises from the fertile plains to alter the local landscape - both literally and culturally.

The landscape plan is divided into three distinct outdoor spaces  surrounding the building: the sloping lawn to the east, the intimate sculpture garden to the south, and the entrance plaza to the west.

Photo: Bruce Damonte

The design of the building is a response to the smooth planes of the northwest Ohio landscape, with its far horizons and big sky.

/Craig Dykers

The sloped berm, which "clads" the eastern portion of the building as it emerges from the landscape, is planted with turf grass identical to the grass which grows elsewhere on campus. A roof terrace provides an outdoor space for gathering, eating, sitting, and studying.

Photo: Bruce Damonte

Photo: Bruce Damonte

The landscape design ties the new building to the existing campus, allowing for flexible public spaces, a strengthening of the campus green space and a frame for the new arts center.

A grand open hall greets the visitor from the main entrance of the new Wolfe Center. Sunlit and spacious, the lobby provides views upward to the lounges, classrooms and studios of the art, music and drama departments on the second level of the Center.

Photo: Bruce Damonte

Photo: Bruce Damonte

Photo: Bruce Damonte

The building contains three performance spaces: a proscenium theater for large-scale productions of musical theater, opera, and classical drama; a studio theater for the presentation of more diverse artistic styles, and an Actor's theater for experimental productions, integrating the spoken word and body movement with digital and sound technology.

Photo: Bruce Damonte

Photo: Bruce Damonte

In addition to being a place for students and faculty to learn and work on theatrical, dance, musical, film and digital arts productions, the center will offer the community an exceptional venue in which to see a wide range of performances. The unique program unites a diverse range of art studies into a socially enterprising facility meant to encourage lively interaction among students and faculty alike.

Drawing courtesy SnøhettaSite Plan

Drawing courtesy SnøhettaPlan Level One
Drawing courtesy SnøhettaPlan Level Two

Drawing courtesy SnøhettaSections

Facts about Wolfe Center for the Arts

Total area:

98,000 ft2


Design Team:

Craig Dykers
Vanessa Kassabian
Elaine Molinar
Nicolas Rader
Scott Melancon


Claire Fellman
Knut Bjørgum

Architect of Record:

The Collaborative, Inc.

Project Team:

Michael DiNardo
Jim Sarks
Don Myers
Lisa Crawford-Nusser


Korda Engineering

Theater Consultants:

Theatre Project

Acoustic Consultants:


General Contractor:

Rudolph Libbe


Bayes, Inc.


Vaughn Industries, LLC


Lake Erie Electric of Toledo, Inc.

Fire Protection:

SA Comunale

Photographed by Bruce Damonte

Last updated: December 19, 2013

See also

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