Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School

Fine Arts Wing

Joplin, Missouri

Project Info
Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School
Joplin, Missouri

With the objective of improving the visual and performing arts portion of its rigorous college preparatory curriculum, Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School commissioned the design of a significant addition and renovation to its modest existing facility. The new building includes administrative offices, art and music instructional spaces, an upper school library, general classrooms, a dining facility, and a 425-seat performance theater. These new program elements are organized around a secure, central courtyard that creates a dynamic and inviting exterior space which functions as a quaint natural backdrop for study, relaxation, and socialization during the school day.

The new theater provides an intimate and sophisticated setting that features a variety of seating zones. The stage is equipped with a full fly loft and orchestra pit. A 2-story gallery, bathed in natural light, serves both as a pre-function space for the theater and a place for exhibition of student artwork.

The use of a locally relevant material palette anchors the building to its place and humanizes the modern aesthetic, infusing it with warmth, texture, and scale. In a nod to Joplin’s rich history as a zinc mining and production center during World War II, upper areas of the façade were designed using standing-seam zinc alloy rain-screen panels. Large glazed areas slice through building volumes, creating separation between solid base elements of regionally sourced sandstone and brick and the metal-clad roof and wall surfaces above.