Exterior North Facade Hero
Courtesy Snøhetta & Methanoia.

The Hop Reimagined

Welcome to a new vision for the Hop. A place for experimentation, diverse experiences and the cross-pollination of ideas across disciplines. A place of welcome, gathering and creation.

The Hopkins Center for the Arts has been a vital hub for creativity and artistic experiences at Dartmouth since 1962. Now with so many challenges across the country and around the world, our investment in the Hop recognizes the power of the arts in building empathy and forging connections when words fall short.

Guided by the trans-disciplinary design firm Snøhetta, we have started transforming the Hop to meet the needs of our artists and communities. Here's what to look forward to:

  • spaces that are welcoming, accessible and bustling with the energy of the artistic process
  • places to gather to experience contemporary live arts, intimate recitals, dance works and interactive experiences—all integrating state-of-the-art technology for sharing work with the world.
  • live arts laboratories for artists, students and faculty to experiment and create new work. 


The Hop Project — welcome | gather | create


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In The News

The Boston Globe logo

Dartmouth unveils designs for $88 million expansion of Hopkins Center for the Arts
Plans include a new recital hall, dance studio, and outdoor plaza.

Arch Daily logo

Snøhetta Reveals New Design of the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth University
The project aims to modernize the existing arts center and create a renewed gateway to the campus's Arts District.

Dartmouth logo

Dartmouth Releases Hopkins Center for the Arts Renderings
Expansion will add opportunities for creativity, community at the cultural arts hub.

Interior Forum
The forum is the Hop's new central convening space, conveying a vision of openness and invitation to the community to engage with the power of the arts. Courtesy Snøhetta & Methanoia.

A Center of Welcome

The new Hop will anchor an inviting Arts District, situated right at the center of campus. The expansion will include a sculpted exterior plaza for gathering and experiencing outdoor performances. Intuitively leading from the plaza is the Forum, the open, orienting core of the Hop. Together the plaza and Forum create a sense of welcome, improving the flow throughout the Hop and across the Arts District. Another aspect of welcoming audiences and artists alike are improvements to accessibility throughout the existing Hop spaces.

Interior Recital Hall
The new Recital Hall will support the creation and presentation of musical performances and features spectacular views of the iconic Baker Library Tower. Courtesy Snøhetta & Methanoia.

Places to Gather

The need for versatile musical rehearsal and presentation spaces has grown rapidly. Snøhetta's design will create a multi-use Recital Hall, scaled to accommodate our biggest Ensembles, featuring flexible seating, and designed with optimized acoustics. Adjacent to the Recital Hall, will be the renovated Top of the Hop, a place to gather for studying, collaborating and hosting informal performances and arts-infused social events.

Performance Lab
The Performance Lab will be the site of multidisciplinary innovation. Courtesy Snøhetta & Methanoia.

Spaces for Creation

The current Alumni Hall will be reimagined as a state-of-the-art Performance Lab with seating that allows for a range of encounters between performers and audiences and the latest in sound, lighting, projection and broadcast technologies. The expansion will include renovations to music rehearsal spaces, alongside the creation of a Theater Rehearsal Lab, seminar room, additional practice rooms and a spacious Dance Studio. Illuminated by a glass ribbon of windows facing the exterior plaza, the Dance Studio is the first space dedicated to dance in the Hop’s history.

Venues and Spaces Hop Garage

Experiential Education

By prioritizing educational facilities within the Hop, we will dramatically improve and expand spaces for students to learn and collaborate with faculty and resident artists. New spaces include a theater rehearsal room—sized to allow for us to develop productions before relocating them to the theater— a seminar room with advanced technological capabilities, and two new music practice rooms. Hartman and Lower Buck music spaces will undergo dramatic refreshes, the light and design studio will be relocated and improved, and by accoustically isolating the Hop Garages, these collaboration spaces will be able to be used concurrently.

Exterior North Facade Bird's Eye View
This aerial view features a new wing and plaza with inviting and flexible performance and gathering spaces. Courtesy Snøhetta & Methanoia.

A Sense of Place

A crucial aspect of the overarching design is connecting the Hop to the natural beauty of the surrounding Upper Valley and inviting the outside further into the building. In line with the college's Sustainable Energy Project, the Hop project focuses on strategies to reduce energy use intensity and carbon emissions, reuse existing building materials, and use energy-efficient lighting systems. 

Historical Hop Exterior

Extending an Architectural Legacy

The redesign complements the Hop’s original architecture created by Harrison and Abramovitz in 1962. Snohetta built on the good bones of this compelling building by maintaining its key components like the iconic arches, the beloved Top of the Hop, Moore Theater and Spaulding Auditorium. The exteriors of the Recital Hall, Dance Studio and Performance Lab establish a natural dialogue with the Hop’s arched concrete vaults, creating a harmonious relationship between the historic and contemporary architecture. 

Snøhetta: Norwegian National Opera Ballet, Oslo
The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, which was designed by Snøhetta and opened in 2008

About Snøhetta

Snøhetta is an integrated design practice that spans architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, interior design, product design and graphic design. Based in Oslo, with offices in New York, the firm brings extensive experience in higher education and cultural spaces to the Hopkins Center redesign and expansion project. The firm's portfolio of cultural projects includes the expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Norwegian National Opera, Ballet Shanghai Grand Opera House, and the renovation of Times Square into a pedestrian cultural site.

Contra Tiempo at the BEMA
An outdoor performance by Contra-tiempo dance theater, performed on site in the BEMA, part of the Summer 2021 season

Project Timeline

The expansion began in December 2022 with the reopening of the new Hopkins Center planned for fall of 2025. Throughout the construction process, our concerts, dances, films, theatrical works and activities will be dispersed throughout the campus and region and in the building when possible.

Mary Lou Aleskie

Arts at the Core

This project puts the arts at the core of the Dartmouth experience. The expansion and redesign will inspire artistic curiosity and experimentation, support diverse creative practices, and catalyze interdisciplinary collaboration among our students, faculty and artists. Snøhetta’s designs build upon the founding vision for the Hop, creating a welcoming environment for our audiences and versatile spaces that support the aspirations of today's artists. Mary Lou Aleskie, the Howard Gilman ’44 Executive Director of the Hopkins Center for the Arts

About the Project

The Hop Project is a pillar of the Call to Lead: a campaign for Dartmouth.



Dartmouth has invested $190 million in the Arts District

over the last decade, including the Hood Museum and Black Family Visual Art Center

70,000 sqft

The renovation includes 15,000 ft² of new space

and 55,000 ft² of transformed spaces for creating and sharing the arts


The new Hop is planned to reopen in 2025

with construction beginning in late 2022.