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  1. ArchDaily
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  5. Centerbrook Architects & Planners
  6. Esther Eastman Music Center, Hotchkiss School / Centerbrook Architects & Planners

Esther Eastman Music Center, Hotchkiss School / Centerbrook Architects & Planners

  • 00:00 - 16 June, 2011
Esther Eastman Music Center, Hotchkiss School / Centerbrook Architects & Planners
Esther Eastman Music Center, Hotchkiss School / Centerbrook Architects & Planners

© Esto Photographics / Albert Vecerka Esther Eastman Music Center, Hotchkiss School / Centerbrook Architects & Planners Esther Eastman Music Center, Hotchkiss School / Centerbrook Architects & Planners Esther Eastman Music Center, Hotchkiss School / Centerbrook Architects & Planners + 15

  • Architects

  • Location

    Lakeville, Salisbury, CT, USA
  • Architect

    Centerbrook Architects and Planners
  • Project Team

    Jefferson B. Riley, FAIA; Mark A. Herter, AIA, Project Manager; Stephen G. Fennell, AIA; Uzma Mirza, AIA; Lisa Boettger, Joshua E. Linkov, RA; Susan J. Pinckney, ASID; Sheryl A. Milardo
  • Structural Engineer

    Gilsanz Murray Steficek, LLP
  • Mechanical And Electrical Engineer

    AltieriSeborWieber
  • Civil Engineer

    CCA, Incorporate
  • Specifications Consultant

    Spec Tran
  • Code Consultant

    Philip R. Sherman
  • Contractor

    O & G Industries
  • Photographs

Text description provided by the architects. At The Hotchkiss School, an independent boarding high school in Connecticut, the music program was far more important to the School than its aging, subterranean facilities implied. The quality of student performances was consistently excellent, but except for the occasional above ground concert in the chapel, the musicians were out of sight to visitors and students alike. So plans were undertaken to renovate an existing drama theater into a venue for musical performances and expand it to provide practice rooms and a rehearsal hall.

© Esto Photographics / Albert Vecerka
© Esto Photographics / Albert Vecerka

Lead by Jefferson B. Riley, a lapsed violinist and intermittent piano player, the Centerbrook Architects team was able to demonstrate that the high cost of renovations could better be invested in an all-glass music pavilion added onto the existing theater. It would more clearly express the importance of music and the arts at the school. The result is a performance hall that not only doubles as an uplifting rehearsal space, but also puts music front and center for all to see.

The showpiece of the new Music Center at the Hotchkiss School is the Katherine M. Elfers Hall, a glass-walled, 715-seat pavilion that affords an exceptional musical experience prized by audiences and musicians alike. Individual and ensemble practice rooms, a music technology studio, classrooms, a radio station, and faculty offices complete the Center's program.

The concert hall is an elongated octagon configured in the round with floor, parterre, and balcony seating so that this glass pavilion engenders an uncommon intimacy, whether for a handful of aficionados or the entire school. Slatted mahogany railings for the upper seating levels evoke the curving bodies of string instruments, while they also soften the acoustics. The glass wall panels are folded accordion style to diffract sound and produce a clear, full tone, while presenting a sparkling façade inside and out.

section / courtesy of Centerbrook Architects and Planners
section / courtesy of Centerbrook Architects and Planners

Reflected trees adorn the outside glass walls in the afternoon light, imprinting nature on architecture; inside, views of an upland meadow leading to a tranquil lake beckon the eyes. At evening time the sun settles gently behind the audience. One such idyll inspired a visiting musician to interrupt his performance so that the assemblage could turn around and savor the vivid tableau that was delighting him.

The pavilion gives the music arts a wholly new venue not only on The Hotchkiss School campus but also for the entire region. It hosts an annual series of performances and summer open air concerts by guest artists that are free to the public.The building employs sustainable materials and resources and has received a LEED Certified Rating from the U. S. Green Building Council.

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Esther Eastman Music Center, Hotchkiss School / Centerbrook Architects & Planners" 16 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/144377/esther-eastman-music-center-hotchkiss-school-centerbrook-architects-and-planners/> ISSN 0719-8884
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Hotchkiss学校Esther Eastman音乐中心 / Centerbrook Architects and Planners