Cultural and Performing Arts Center competition in North Carolina

RFQs are due on May 20, 2005 for this open 2-stage competition for the new Mill Center for the Arts. Diverse cultural groups will be housed in this new facility designed for exhibition, instruction, and performance of the fine and applied arts. The goal is to provide a place to bring together professional artists and performers, students and seniors, locals and visitors, all to enjoy and learn in a synergistic atmosphere of creativity. The budget for the project is $20 million.

The site designated for the project is an entire city block located near the historic main street of Hendersonville, North Carolina. The proximity to civic and commercial centers as well as galleries, restaurants, inns, and coffee houses makes it an ideal position for pedestrian and vehicular access. Located on the site is a historic textile mill dating back to 1915, which will form one of the challenges of the site in its preservation, renovation or redirection. The program will address these primary functions:
*1,200-seat performance theater with stagehouse
*250 flexible seat rehearsal and "black box" studio
*multipurpose and divisional spaces for conferences seating to 500
*exhibition galleries and studios for instruction
*administration and support offices and workshops

After the submission of the RFQs, 40 firms will be invited to submit 2 boards for the First Stage which will be judged anonymously. A minimum of three firms will be chosen from the first stage to participate in the Second Stage. All architects licensed to practice in North America are eligible to enter, and the fee is $100 USD. Each finalist will receive a minimum of $18,000 for a second-stage submission.

The jury is comprised of the following:
Merrill Elam, Architect, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, Atlanta, Georgia
Coleman Coker, Architect, BuildingStudio, Memphis, Tennessee
Ned Cramer, Director, Chicago Architectural Foundation
Kenneth Youngblood, Hendersonville, North Carolina
Robert Morgan, Hendersonville, North Carolina
Susan Fazio, Hendersonville, North Carolina

Professional advisors for the competition are Dean Emeritus William G. McMinn, FAIA, Asheville, North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus Bob Burns, FAIA, Raleigh, North Carolina.

The timetable for the competition is as follows:
20 May 2005: RFQs due
04 June 2005: site visit for qualified architects
15 July 2005: deadline for first-stage submissions
25 July 2005: jury review and selection of finalists
29 August 2005: deadline for second-stage submissions

Sponsors for the competition include the Mill Center for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.