UC Davis is soliciting public comment on three designs for the proposed Music Recital Hall, which soon will rise on a vacant plot of land next to the existing Music Building.
Campus architect Clayton Halliday introduced the designs Thursday before an audience of faculty, students and community members in the Mondavi Center’s Vanderhoef Studio Theatre.
The designs — each submitted by a different architect/builder team — have certain features in common. The main focus of each is the recital hall itself — a performance space with a seating capacity of between 375 and 390 with a very high ceiling and movable acoustic draperies. The drapes can be withdrawn when the recital hall is used for concerts, allowing the sound to linger in the air, or deployed when the hall is used for lectures and speeches.
These adjustable acoustic features will be similar to the movable acoustic draperies and banners found in the Mondavi Center.
The new recital hall will provide an intermediate-sized performance space — bigger than the Studio Theatre, which seats 130 to 250 people, depending on the configuration, but more intimate than the Mondavi Center’s Jackson Hall, which seats 1,600 to 1,800 people.
The Mondavi Center plans to present some performances in the Music Recital Hall, and, of course, the UCD music department, which has been promoting the idea of a new recital hall since the 1990s, will present numerous concerts in the building as well.
The building also will include several large practice rooms for sectional rehearsals — one reserved for strings, one for percussion, one for brass, etc. — as well as space for instrument storage. Some of the proposed designs include a few more practice rooms than others.
(The Music Building, which dates from the 1960s, does not have enough rehearsal space to support all of the department’s various ensembles and activities.)
The three designs come from firms that have a track record in designing performing arts venues:
* Boora Architects, of Portland, with Turner Construction. Boora designed the Mondavi Center, a venue widely praised for superior acoustics;
* LPAS Architects, of Sacramento, with Kitchell Construction. LPAS designed the Three Stages performing arts complex at Folsom Lake College, which has an 800-seat concert hall, a 200-seat theatrical venue and a 95-seat recital hall; and
* THA Architecture, of Portland, with BNBuilders. THA has designed venues for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the University of Oregon, Whitman College and other institutions in the Pacific Northwest.
The building will cover somewhere between 14,000 and 17,000 square feet, depending on the design alternative.
The Music Recital Hall will be one of the first buildings that many visitors will see as they enter the campus from downtown Davis. Halliday said the hall “will almost be a gateway building” for people walking down Hutchison Drive from A Street.
Jessie Ann Owens, dean of the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies, agreed that the hall will be in a strategic location.
“We want it to be welcoming from both sides,” for incoming visitors and students already on campus.” she said.
In all three of the designs, the recital hall’s lobby is envisioned as being particularly visible and inviting, perhaps including large video screens that could display performances.
Owens recognized longtime Davis residents Grace and Grant Noda, who attend numerous concerts, for donating $1.5 million toward the project. She said the university has raised about $3 million toward a $5 million goal for the project. The overall construction budget for the Music Recital Hall is $11 million.
The target date for a groundbreaking ceremony is April 2014, with occupancy expected in May 2015.
The public is invited to view images of the building, and offer comments, at https://app.e2ma.net/app2/survey/1703944/213020400/edd77438f8/?v=a.
The design selection process is expected to move swiftly, with a committee meeting next week to recommend a choice among the three competing proposals. A decision could be announced in late May or early June.
— Reach Jeff Hudson at email@example.com or 530-747-8055.