Setting the tone in California

Design collaboration realises first phase of performance venue expansion project

by Sian 05 October 2012
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    The new Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall at the Donald and Maureen Green Music Center, Sonoma State University has been officially opened. Designed by Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, William Rawn Associates, AC Martin Partners and Kirkgaard Associates, the hall is a stunning new addition to the University in California.

    With capacity for a 1,400-seated audience, the concert hall is soon to be joined by a recital hall which is currently under construction and has been designed with reference to the Seji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, also by William Rawn.

    Mike McMackin, Project Principal at Auerbach Pollock Friedlander explains: “Auerbach Pollock Friedlander equipped Weill Hall with automated reconfigurable orchestra risers, variable acoustics elements and state of the art theatrical and concert lighting. The technology is sympathetic to the architecture of the hall, being seamlessly integrated with the fine finishes.”

    The wood-rich interior offers a range of seating options, from rows of slatted chairs to two levels of balconies which give a more elevated viewing platform. Opened on 29 September, the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall will be used for a variety of university performances as well as public events hosted by the Santa Rosa Symphony and Bach Choral Society.

    Len Auerbach, Founding Principal of Auerbach Pollock Friedlander detailed: “Among the many unique features of this hall is the custom design of the 1,400 seats which are representative of the garden setting and the architectural finishes of the hall. The design was carefully coordinated for comfort, optimal acoustic response, ADA accessibility and aesthetics. The design of the seats provides a unifying visual experience within the hall.”

    The rear wall of the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall can be opened to enable a further 5,000 people to watch large-scale performances from external seating and the under-construction 250-seat Schroeder’s Recital Hall will also provide a additional performance venue. Also in planning, an outdoor amphitheatre with 10,000 seats is due to complete in 2015.

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