Villanova University Performing Arts Center
As part of a major capital campaign, Villanova University redeveloped the southern part of their campus. Previously a wide-open parking lot, the area now hosts student housing, retail, dining and The John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts Center (PAC), the crown jewel of the development. The PAC contains a traditional and a Black Box theater, classrooms, a dance studio and costume and scenery shops.
In order to maintain the project budget, LF Driscoll had to stockpile the excavated soils on site which left limited space for the laydown of equipment and materials. Consequently, the team worked with subcontractors to coordinate logistics and instituted a strict “just-in-time” delivery policy for materials and equipment.
One of the most challenging deliveries was that of a girder for the theatre construction. The PAC main theatre is “proscenium-style”—the traditional arrangement of a stage separated from the audience by a picture-frame-like opening. To preserve an unobscured view for the audience, rather than rely on strategically placed columns, the roof load is transferred to a large clear span beam. Coming in at 68ft in length and weighing 12 tons, the beam was placed immediately upon arrival. A lane of traffic on Lancaster Avenue was temporarily shut down, so the beam could be set down in such a way as to allow it to be lifted and maneuvered into place.
LF Driscoll’s work was carefully coordinated with the theatrical equipment supplier and the Audio/Visual contractor. Both provided the latest technology available making the new theater a complete professional venue.
®Photography Credit Jeffrey Totaro
800 Lancaster Avenue
Voith & Mactavish Architects in association with Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Bala Engineering, O’Donnell & Naccarato, Nave Newell
LEED Silver certified