The 1959 modernist building has remained mostly untouched since constructed and has long suffered from poor sound isolation and unremarkable, undersized performance spaces. The design team did a comprehensive renovation that included replacing the building mechanical systems and much of its curtain wall. The interior is a virtual gut/rehabilitation, but wherever possible existing walls are incorporated into new sound-isolating assemblies. The building features the gorgeous Michel C. Minor Recital hall in the shell of the old, an improved Hamra Hall that is combination classroom and small recital, 23 teaching studios, 5 classrooms and 18 practice rooms. The scale of the project compared to the budget required the design team to find carefully calibrated solutions for what to reuse and what to replace. The users emphasized the importance of the recital hall, which could not be dramatically improved without capturing more volume. The solution was to demolish the hall's floor slab to capture the room volume from an under-used rehearsal room below while preserving the upstage pipe organ and original wood side wall.

Project Details
Audiovisual Systems Design
Mechanical Noise Control
Room Acoustics Design
Sound Isolation
Patterhn Ives llc, St. Louis, MO, Architect
Schuler Shook, Minneapolis, MN, Theatre Consultant
45,000 gsf
240-seat C Minor Recital Hall, 84-seat Hamra Hall (junior recital/lecture hall)
$14.3 Million
2016 AIA Saint Louis Design Merit Award: Unbuilt 2018 AIA Springfield Design Honor Award 2018 AIA Saint Louis Design Merit Award: Interiors 2018 AIA Saint Louis Design Merit Award: Architecture 2021 AIA Central States Design Honor Award: Interiors