The University of Oregon’s first-rate School of Music was saddled with a confusing, second-rate facility. A 1920s core building - including the beloved 540-seat Beall Concert Hall - had received an undistinguished classroom addition in the 1950s and two further additions in the 1970s that contained practice rooms, teaching studios, and rehearsal spaces. The building needed additional classrooms, teaching studios, and rehearsal spaces, but it also badly needed coherency and clear circulation patterns. Kirkegaard worked closely with BOORA Architects and the many user groups to meet both the acoustic and the architectural goals. The design team’s response was to provide two new additions that tied together the loose ends of the existing facilities. The south addition includes three classrooms of various sizes, specifically equipped and designed for music instruction, and a three-story tower containing a student lounge, practice rooms, and well-isolated, comfortably-sized teaching studios. The north addition accommodates the jazz and percussion programs in a one-story wing. The large jazz rehearsal room in the center of the wing is designed to work as a live room for jazz recordings. An even larger Ensemble Rehearsal Room terminates the wing. This tall, handsome room is filled with natural light and has extensive adjustable curtaining to accommodate everything from an orchestra rehearsal to a percussion ensemble to a lightly-staged opera performance. Careful shepherding of a tight budget allowed the new construction to be built at a high quality level without extravagance, freeing up funds for light renovations of many of the existing spaces. The design included innovative use of HVAC systems to create an unusually “green” facility. More recently, Kirkegaard has completed a study of Beall Recital Hall to identify ways to maintain its acoustics for recital use while improving its acoustics for larger or louder ensembles. The installation of these modifications is ongoing.
Mechanical Noise Control
Room Acoustics Design
Bora Architects, Architect, Portland, OR
540-seat Beall Concert Hall; large rehearsal room; jazz & percussion wing; teaching studios; classrooms & practice rooms