Ann and George Colony Hall
The 51,761-square-foot Ann and George Colony Hall is an architectural and programmatic complement to the iconic Paul Mellon Arts Center. With plenty of seats for faculty, staff and students, the auditorium is the ideal location to bring the entire school community together.
Choate Rosemary Hall dedicated Colony Hall in October 2019. Named in honor of a lead gift from Trustee George F. Colony ’72 and his wife Ann, the building is an architectural and programmatic complement to the adjacent Paul Mellon Arts Center.
Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Colony Hall is the realization of a longtime goal of the School’s Strategic Plan – to allocate appropriate resources so that the entire school community can gather to share, celebrate, and reflect.
The new building’s form follows the architectural cues of I.M. Pei, who designed the Paul Mellon Arts Center in 1972. Walls of board-formed concrete and aluminum and a glass curtain wall continue the PMAC’s materials palette. Built deeply into the hillside slope, the building is sited so as to preserve most of the wooded hillside which encloses the Great Lawn.
The Great Lawn also serves as the central view from the two-story main lobby. To the left, the lobby opens into a series of music practice rooms and classrooms. To the right is the auditorium. With ample seating, the auditorium serves not only as the venue for weekly all-school meetings, but as a performance hall that can accommodate both large and small audiences. The space provides an acoustical setting suitable for the spoken word or amplified music, as well as a more reverberant sound for symphonic music. Clerestories on three sides provide the auditorium with abundant natural light.
Along the west side of the auditorium, a glazed gallery leads down the hall to the music classroom wing. At the music wing’s center is a Recital Hall seating up to 100, which also provides rehearsal space for Choate's major music ensembles. Surrounding the Recital Hall are additional practice rooms, faculty offices, the percussion studio and a Green Room for performers. The backstage area contains musical instrument lockers and storage for music.
Open stairs in the lobby lead both to the auditorium’s balcony and to a new dance studio, with changing rooms and an office for the dance program. At the top of the building, a third level entrance leads from the top rows of the balcony to a woodland path along the hillside.