A new Performing Arts Center by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects is scheduled to begin construction at Western Illinois University. Officials celebrated a ceremonial groundbreaking for the WIU Performing Arts Center on the Macomb campus this past Tuesday.
“We are excited to see this project moving forward,” said Cesar Pelli, FAIA, Senior Principal of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. “This will be a wonderful building for the university and the people of Western Illinois.”
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects is the design architect for the project. The design team is led by Mitchell Hirsch, AIA, LEED AP, principal. OWP/P is the architect of record. Construction for the new 126,000 sq ft building is expected to begin in 2012 and last approximately 30 months.
“We are grateful to Pelli Clarke Pelli and OWP/P for helping us to realise this project. They have been wonderful collaborators,” said Paul Kreider, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication. “This Center has been a long time coming and is sure to reestablish our standing as the cultural centre of the region.”
The Performing Arts Center will comprise two brick-clad wings connected by a two-storey, glass-walled gallery. The building will contain a 250-seat theatre with thrust stage, a 150-seat studio theatre and a 1,400-seat proscenium theatre.
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects has more than 20 years experience designing for the performing arts. The firm’s work includes the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisc.; the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami; and the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, Calif.
The firm has also designed performing arts centres at Grinnell College, Vassar College and the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Projects now in design include the new Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa and the Theatre School for DePaul University, which will begin construction this year.