October 27, 2017

Wellesley College Dedicates Pendleton West

The acrobatic troupe Bandaloop performed on the facade of an addition to Pendleton West as part of an extended celebration at Wellesley College to mark the opening of the new building.
Photo © Bob O'Connor

Last week, Wellesley College celebrated the opening of the renovated Pendleton West building with a dedication ceremony and a series of performances. After two years of construction, the new interdisciplinary arts space reopens with an overhauled, open floor plan and a 10,000-square-foot addition that connects Pendleton West to the neighboring Jewett Art Center. 
Designed as a cutting-edge contemporary arts space, both the addition and 48,000-square-foot renovation make room for Wellesley's evolving and interconnected arts curriculum, which include traditional arts, music, and digital media programs. The new Pendleton West houses a suite of flexible art making spaces including classrooms and studios alongside acoustically tuned rehearsal and performance spaces.  

“The idea was to completely integrate a performative acoustical system into the architecture of the building so that you couldn't tell what was architecture and what was performance,” said Stephen Kieran.

Wellesley's week-long celebration, titled Transformations: Celebrating Pendleton West, featured a discussion with Stephen Kieran and Jesse Nicholson, landscape architect at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. The celebration also included performances from the pioneering vertical dance group BANDALOOP, the Wellesley College Chamber Singers, and the Wellesley College Theatre.