Westminster Choir College Steps Into the Future

Marion Buckelew Cullen Center Sets Stage for Future of Westminster Choir College

Princeton, NJ A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday, October 22, 2014 to officially open the Marion Buckelew Cullen Center and Hillman Performance Hall at the Westminster Choir College of Rider University.  As the first new building to be constructed on the campus in 39 years, the Cullen Center looks to both preserve and advance the internationally renowned school’s historic-laden legacy as a part of a modern and progressive university.

Designed by KSS Architects of Princeton, NJ, The Cullen Center, which houses two flexible performance spaces, supports the college’s wide range of teaching methods, from private lessons and group classes, to performances before audiences and individual practice sessions. These state-of-the-art spaces, strategically laid out in two wings forming an L-shape, make it possible to easily conduct many sessions simultaneously. The two wings converge into the grand, light-filled lobby, perfect for receptions and displaying banners.

The Grand Lobby and reception space of the Cullen Center connects to the existing Playhouse – a Dance and Opera performance hall also slated for renovation – and provides a lobby and back-of-house support for the existing venue.

In keeping with the original Georgian architecture of Williamson, Taylor and Erdman Halls, the Cullen Center compliments the classic vision of the campus, and forms the eastern edge of a new quadrangle.  In this significant location, the Center now acts as a gateway to the heart of campus.

The new building has been designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, with particular emphasis on indoor air quality, land preservation and energy efficiency.

“For KSS,” states Michael Shatken, Founding Partner of the firm, “the completion of the Marion Buckelew Cullen Center marks a significant advancement of the master plan created by KSS to guide the growth and development of campus facilities at Westminster.

“The Cullen Center joins the Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University as one of two premier music facilities designed by KSS in New Jersey.  For Westminster Choir College,” Shatken continues, “The Marion Buckelew Cullen Center provides a world-class home for Westminster’s world-class choir music program and lays an additional foundation for its bright future.”

Read more about the Cullen Center dedication at Times of Trenton.