The Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center is located on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). The venue is home to the Anheuser-Busch Performance Hall with 1600 seats, the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Theater with seating for up to 375, and the open-form Whitaker Hall with seating for up to 250 along with dressing rooms, scene shop, rehearsal room, lobby, administration/faculty offices. The Touhill hosts an average of 120 events per year with 200 public performances that include usage for academic, UMSL presents, and community organizations. The auditorium is designed to support all forms of performing arts including acoustic and amplified music, opera, musical comedy, drama and dance. Kirkegaard provided audio video, room acoustics and building system noise and vibration control design for Center which is located in the direct flight path of St. Louis' Lambert International Airport and adjacent to the St. Louis MetroLink commuter train line. The building envelope required a special acoustic design approach to prevent exterior transportation noise from interfering with events. Performance verification services included pre-and post-construction environmental noise measurements. Both performance spaces were designed to be highly flexible. The Performance Hall contains adjustable sound absorptive curtains throughout the space for acoustic flexibility between acoustic and amplified events, moveable stage orchestra shell towers and ceiling panels as well as operable orchestra pit lift that can be set at five different levels. The Lee Theater converts from flat floor to three main configurations to accommodate various events with retractable seating.
Project Details
Audiovisual Systems Design
Mechanical Noise Control
Room Acoustics Design
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Architect, New York, NY
Theatre Projects Consultants, Theatre Consultant, South Norwalk, CT
128,500 gsf
1,650-seat theatre; 300-seat hall
$40,000,000
St. Louis
MO