Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology

Dallas, Texas

The Perkins School of Theology occupies a prominent location at the gateway to the historic core of the Southern Methodist University campus. Kirby Hall and Selecman Hall face each other across a small courtyard adjacent to Perkins Chapel and before GFF’s project provided almost all of the teaching and office space for the theology school. Virtually unchanged since their construction in 1948 and 1952, respectively, these buildings no longer met the functional or technological needs of the school.

GFF was first engaged for a feasibility and programming study to determine design concept to satisfy those requirements. After studying a series of options, a scheme was selected which included both comprehensive renovation of the existing buildings for faculty and staff offices, along with design of a new 18,000 SF building providing new teaching and community spaces. University administration insisted that any new construction be consistent with the existing collegiate Georgian style. Matching the existing buildings in color and materials, scale and detail, the new Prothro Hall provides instructional and community spaces including a Great Hall. The design also provides arcaded connectors between the three buildings and develops the courtyard spaces between structures.