Philanthropic support enables $15m LPAS Architects and Kitchell CEM-designed classroom and recital hall in Davis, Ca
The new Classroom and Recital Hall at the University of California, Davis, will be created by a team of architects and builders who will collaborate to deliver an intimate, acoustically superb recital hall.
LPAS Architects and Kitchell CEM, both of Sacramento, have won a competition to design and build the $15m venue. Located at the east entrance to campus, the 17,000 sq ft Classroom and Recital Hall will bridge the university and community of Davis, providing not only much-needed teaching space but also a world-class performance venue.
The building, which includes a 5,000 sq ft concert space, will accommodate patrons with 399 seats, providing a home for chamber and solo music performances as well as addressing the need for new classroom space for the university. Groundbreaking for the new facility, which will be located on a site next to the present Music Building, is expected next April, with anticipated completion in 2015.
The longstanding need for a new performance, practice and education space for students required $5m in philanthropic support to become a reality. In 2008, arts patrons Grace and Grant Noda of Davis gave $1m toward building the new recital hall, spurring a fundraising effort to move the project forward. The Nodas recently pledged an additional $500,000 to the recital hall.
“Rich or poor, everyone has access to music. It transcends race, social status. It is apolitical,” said Grace Noda. “Music has been a large part of our lives, and we want to give that gift to others. It is clear how much this new facility is needed and how great an impact it will have.” Approximately $3m of the required $5m has been raised through philanthropic gifts. The campus continues to raise funds for the remaining $2m. No student fees or state funds will be used to build the recital hall.
The hall will enable greater collaboration across the university, opening up fresh possibilities for music festivals, extended artists residencies and other new programming. Inside, the lobby can accommodate receptions, performances and other events. The project also will include an outdoor courtyard for afternoon lectures, outdoor performances and artist receptions. Oak trees will shade the recital hall, and evergreen trees will create a link from the West Plaza to Putah Creek.
The building also will include a ‘greenroom’, a lounge in which performers can wait before going on stage, along with studios for music instruction and ensemble rehearsals, and ‘shells’ for six practice rooms. Studio teaching spaces will double as individual or chamber music practice spaces when students are not in class. Rooms for instrument storage are included in the plan as well.
To make room for the new building, workers have torn down two existing buildings - the old boiler plant and Temporary Building 195, the former firehouse. The design will preserve existing trees, add new plantings, and create a strong connection to the adjacent Putah Creek and T. Elliot Weir Redwood Grove. Another project under way, to renovate and widen Hutchison Drive, will create the main entrance to the recital hall.
Curtis Owyang of LPAS Architects said: "We thought that Putah Creek is just this incredible…natural resource and we found that a lot of buildings turn their back to the creek. Well, we wanted to design a building that really engaged and embraced the creek, to make people aware of it as an amenity. So, as you approach the building, we created open spaces that engage with the creek and draw your attention to it."