In association with Koch Hazard Architects

The Freeman Performing Arts Center marks the threshold between prairie and civic life in this small town of 1,300 with a rich music tradition. The 37,000 sf center deploys a hall-type building with a multiple-gabled profile that unifies a miscellaneous collection of public buildings and landscapes at the corner of the town’s one-mile grid. The principal face of the building is a translucent curtain wall that illuminates interior massing—a beacon on the prairie. A thru-Porch celebrates transitions between the prairie’s horizon and the intimate gathering space of the entry plaza on the building’s east side. The west wall’s translucent singularity suggests a compelling civic landmark, opposite its east elevation, an intimate edge of articulated windows and charred wood cladding. Translucent walls, clerestory windows, and an interior courtyard combine to create a simple but spatially rich and warm interior realm, important in this northern cold climate.


2018 AR AIA Citation Award


National Endowment of the Arts 


City of Freeman, South Dakota
Freeman Education and Research, Inc. Board

AuthorLinda Komlos