Moore Ruble Yudell, Design Architect; Santa Monica, CA
Ayers / Saint / Gross, Architect of Record; Baltimore, MD
Theatre Projects Consultants, Theatre Consultant; South Norwalk, CT
Situated on the north end of the College Park Campus of the University of Maryland, the 318,000-square-foot Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center functions as a “village” of ten interconnecting buildings that spread across 17 acres, bringing together the University’s School of Music with the Departments of Theatre and Dance.
The Center was created through the collaboration of the State of Maryland, the University of Maryland, Prince George’s County, and many individuals who support art and education.
The 1,096-seat Dekelboum Concert Hall is the largest performance space in the Center. Its lofty, gothic-scale ambience contrasts with the other halls in the facility, the Gildenhorn Recital Hall, Kay Proscenium Theatre, and Dance Theatre, each of which offers an acoustical environment particularly suited to its primary uses. The Performing Arts Library, two experimental theatres, 30 classrooms, 50 rehearsal and practice rooms, and 100 faculty studios and offices round out the facilities. All were carefully designed with respect to room acoustics, sound isolation, and mechanical noise and vibration control.
Adjustable elements allow the Concert Hall to be fine-tuned to the specific needs of contrasting musical ensembles. A system of acoustically refined retractable performer risers can accommodate instrumental and vocal ensembles ranging from a full symphony orchestra to a string quartet. Sound-absorbing banners and draperies offer a degree of acoustical adjustment between unoccupied rehearsals for percussion ensembles and a capella choirs and sold-out performances for jazz/big bands and consorts of early instruments. A pipe organ is being considered for future installation.