For their work designing the college’s new Center for Art + Design, S/L/A/M Collaborative has earned the Honor Award from the New Hampshire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANH). The prestigious Honor Award celebrates the Center for Art + Design as an aesthetic, creative, safe, valuable and sustainable building.

The 15,000-square-foot Center for Art + Design offers the state-of-the-art John and Heidi Niblack Black Box Theater; ceramics, graphic design, painting and sculpture studios; the Bill and Sonja Davidow '56 Fine Art Gallery; and faculty offices. Situated on the southeast end of campus, the building offers a stunning view of Mount Kearsarge and an outdoor sculpture garden.

The building opened this fall and was made possible by sustained fundraising efforts.

S/L/A/M designed the 2013 addition to the Ware Student Center and specializes in sustainable, education and healthcare-oriented architecture. The firm worked alongside North Branch Construction and Colby-Sawyer’s Facilities Department to bring the center to life.

Mark Rhoades, principal and chief design officer at S/L/A/M, joined North Branch Construction’s Project Manager Joseph Campbell and Project Executive Kenneth Holmes on stage to accept the award at the AIANH’s 2018 Excellence in Architecture and Design Awards held at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, N.H. earlier this month. The Honor Award is the organization’s highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in architecture.

“Our design embraces a more playful interpretation of a New England barn aesthetic, resulting in an arts facility created to be a museum in and of itself,” said Rhoades.

The barn form allowed for a south-facing solar array roof, supporting the college’s goal to transition to a carbon-neutral campus by 2050. The design also includes scenic outdoor art spaces for students to weld, paint and fire ceramics.

"We're thrilled that S/L/A/M Collaborative has been recognized for designing this inviting and engaging architectural space in which we now have the privilege of teaching, learning, making, exhibiting and performing,” said Associate Professor and Chair of Fine & Performing Arts Hilary Walrod.

The center’s next exhibition will celebrate recent works by faculty members in the Fine and Performing Arts Department. An opening reception of the annual Faculty Art Exhibition will be held Feb. 1 at 5 p.m. at the William H. and Sonja Carlson Davidow '56 Fine Art Gallery. To learn more about the exhibit, visit