The Donna and Marvin Schwartz Center at Emory University is where teaching, learning, and performance merge on campus, providing a vital arts presence and space for engagement with the broader community. The facility includes an 820-seat concert hall with recording capabilities, a 135-seat performance hall, an instrumental rehearsal hall, a choral rehearsal hall, two acting classrooms and two dance studios. The architecture of the concert hall is a shoebox design based on the Musikverein Concert Hall in Vienna, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Concert Hall and Boston Symphony Hall.
The location of the building, adjacent to Atlanta’s busy Decatur Road, required a design that was at the same time aesthetically pleasing and acoustically sound. To accomplish this a unique double-layered system of glass was used to allow natural light into the space while preventing the intrusion of traffic noise. The interior of the concert hall features a series of layered, multifaceted walls with no parallel surfaces, providing for the best possible acoustics throughout the space.
Adjustable acoustic banners provide flexibility and capability to accommodate a variety of musical performances.The dance studio is the only space designed exclusively for dance in the Atlanta area. Kirkegaard designed the room acoustics, sound isolation, mechanical noise and vibration control, and audio/video systems design for the Center.