Revitalizing a Historic Church to Serve a Growing Campus
Canisius College needed to strengthen its campus with a new auditorium facility without significant new capital investments and thus sought a creative solution for existing spaces. The Montante Cultural Center is an adaptive reuse and restoration effort that transformed a historic Byzantine-Lombardic church into a multi-purpose facility while preserving the integrity and beauty of the structure. The auditorium accommodates a variety of cultural and academic events – lectures, plays, and concerts – as well as additional space for meetings and receptions. Building systems were upgraded for contemporary uses with flexible seating, a professional stage and sound systems.
Impressively, the acoustics of the original domed space were completely re-configured to performance standards with the introduction of butterfly clouds of sound-reflecting acoustic panels. The revitalized space has created new energy on campus and earned numerous design awards at all levels.
The respect for the original architecture is clear, and the lightness of the gesture helps to create the soaring feeling in the space. The technology becomes the new ornament in an old ornamented space.
– American Institute of Architects – National Honor Award for Interior Architecture