Alton Auditorium at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey was designed by Robert Geddes, FAIA, of the firm Geddes Brecher Qualls Cunningham (GBQC), and completed in 1971. It was constructed as part of a modular, two-story building that was the first major facility for the newly formed institution. This large college building is one of the most important expressions of the “mega structure” campus, compositionally cohesive and architecturally unified.
Principals and staff of Mills + Schnoering Architects managed the renovations and upgrade of the auditorium to better serve its current range of uses. The simple box was transformed into a true performance space through the introduction of tiered seating; access to the stage for people and equipment as well as access from the upper level; the creation of dispersed accessible seating; and the creation of a more dynamic lecture space that takes advantage of the double-height space. A new, full-height glass curtain wall at the rear of the stage now provides a view of the campus lake. A new reception area was also constructed outside the auditorium with the addition of a bridge from the upper lobby mezzanine to a second entrance at the upper level. Work was completed with sensitivity to the fact that the auditorium and the building in which it exists are important examples of Modern architecture with a specific, minimalist vocabulary.