Contract - Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall

design - features - education design



Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall

07 March, 2013

-By Lydia Lee


 Just an hour north of San Francisco, Sonoma County is an agrarian paradise with gently rolling hills populated by grazing cows, wineries overlooking orderly rows of grapevines, and farm stands. And there, Sonoma State University has taken a major step in creating a beautiful home for a specialized artisanal process: producing music.

What do you need to cultivate great music in the grand tradition?
University President Dr. Ruben Armiñana was inspired by the model established by Tanglewood in western Massachusetts, which, in addition to being the home of the Boston Symphonic Orchestra, hosts a summer music festival and music classes. Performers aside, Tanglewood’s Seiji Ozawa Hall is a modern, 1,200-seat venue that has also drawn accolades for its superior acoustics and a unique design that opens onto a broad lawn to share the experience with another 2,000 people.

With Tanglewood in mind, Laurence Furukawa-Schlereth, executive director for the newly opened Green Music Center at Sonoma State University, says, “Our vision was of a space that combined music performance and education together, and to take advantage of the extraordinary physical beauty of Sonoma County.”

Dr. Armiñana recruited Seiji Ozawa Hall’s architect, William Rawn Associates of Boston, and acoustician Kirkegaard Associates of Chicago to create a Northern California version of Tanglewood. The 38,500-square-foot Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall designed by Rawn is the centerpiece within the Green Music Center, a building designed by BAR Architects of San Francisco. The overall building is a 100,000-square-foot complex with a separate wing of classrooms,  a 250-seat recital hall, and a restaurant.

Designing within the Sonoma County context
From the outside, the structure appears similar to the vernacular of nearby wineries, whose architecture often employs stone and wood. A stately entry sequence begins with a stone colonnade that leads to a 12,000-square-foot courtyard, elegantly paved in Indian limestone. Two rows of gnarled, 125-year-old olive trees set into the courtyard provide age-old gravitas. But the shape of the hall, with its rakish, swooping roof, is definitively modern.

The trick here, as at Tanglewood, was to create an intimacy and connection between performer and audience, to make a 1,400-seat venue feel cozy. In the more familial style of contemporary halls, seating surrounds the stage on all sides; while most of the seats still face the stage, there are two balcony levels that encircle the stage. The materials also play an important role: The hall is almost entirely enveloped in wood, which brings warmth to the lofty, 50-foot-high space. “We wanted to get the color right, and also to have a mix of woods because one alone would have been dull,” says William Rawn.

The rows of open-backed chairs—designed by theater specialists Auerbach Pollock Friedlander of San Francisco—are crafted of the same durable beech as the balcony facades and trim. The floor is paneled in honey-hued Douglas fir, while the stage is white maple, tough enough to handle the hard point of a cello spike.

The hall is flooded with natural light, thanks to glass on three sides, including a row of tall windows facing the Sonoma hills to the east. “Every person who walks in feels a reverence,” says Furukawa-Schlereth. And, at the end of the hall, massive red-cedar barn doors, measuring 54 feet wide by 20 feet high, slide open onto a terraced lawn that accommodates another 3,000 guests.

Acoustics good enough for stars of the music world
From an acoustical perspective, a long, narrow space with a high ceiling was critical. “The shoebox shape produces a certain quality of sound— the narrowness provides clarity and resonance,” says acoustician Lawrence Kirkegaard. “We also strove not to lose any sound into surfaces, but keep it around for people to enjoy.” For example, the walls are an extra-thick 12 to 18 inches in order to better preserve low frequencies. While microphones pick up the sound to broadcast to patrons outside, no electronics are needed within the hall to amplify performances that are intended to be acoustic.

The hall is already hosting stars of the international circuit—the debut season features the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Anne-Sophie Mutter, and Wynton Marsalis—and it is also a home base for the Santa Rosa Symphony. Occasionally, it is also pressed into service as a classroom, allowing even students who are not music majors at Sonoma State University to experience what may be one of the most beautiful lecture halls in the country. This spring, 760 students are coming together for a course called “Living in a Changing World.” Given the setting, that message is sure to resonate.

Key Design Highlights
  • A mixture of woods—maple,
    beech, and Douglas fir—create
    different levels of warmth and
    dimension to the lofty hall.
  • Glass was installed on three sides
    of the hall to capture views of the
    rolling green hills.
  • To extend performances to
    the outdoors, the hall features
    massive red-cedar barn doors
    on one end; an additional 5,000
    concertgoers can be accommodated
    on the terraced lawn outside the doors.
  • For outstanding acoustics and to
    preserve low frequencies, walls
    are thicker than the norm for
    construction in this area.

 

Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall
Designer William Rawn Associates
Executive architect AC Martin Partners
Client Sonoma State University
Where Rohnert Park, California
What 100,000 square feet  on two floors
Cost/sf Withheld at client’s
request

SOURCES

who Project designer: William Rawn Associates. Executive architect: AC Martin Partners. Project team: Bill Bussey, project manager, AC Martin Partners; Willam L. Rawn; Clifford Gayley; Alan Joslin; Erik Tellander. Design team: Phillip Gray; Ken Amano; Matthew Cohen; Vinicius Gorgati; Sarah Michelman; Peter Reiss; Miguel Rionda; Laura Bouman; John Paul Guerrero; Sebastian Mendez. Interior designer: Bruce Danzer, Lab 3.2 Architecture. Contractor: Rudolf and Sletten. Lighting: Horton Lees Brogden. Engineering: Ove Arup & Partners. Landscape: SWA Group. Acoustician: Larry Kirkegaard, Kirkegaard Associates. Theatre consultant: Auerbach Pollack Friedlander.    
what Stage: Maharam (fabric-wrapped acoustic panels); HY Floor (white maple installation); Pook Diemont & Ohl Inc. (risers). Walls: plaster; steamed European beech. Paint: Benjamin Moore. Ceilings: Lindner. Flooring: HY Floor (vertical grain Douglas Fir). Balconies: Fetzer (tongue-and- groove Douglas Fir undersides, steamed European beech rail- ings and trim). Doors: Modernfold. Glass: Center Glass (architectural, decorative). Seating: Fancher Chair Co. (auditorium). Upholstery: Maharam.




Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall

07 March, 2013


Photography by David Wakely and courtesy Sonoma State University

 Just an hour north of San Francisco, Sonoma County is an agrarian paradise with gently rolling hills populated by grazing cows, wineries overlooking orderly rows of grapevines, and farm stands. And there, Sonoma State University has taken a major step in creating a beautiful home for a specialized artisanal process: producing music.

What do you need to cultivate great music in the grand tradition?
University President Dr. Ruben Armiñana was inspired by the model established by Tanglewood in western Massachusetts, which, in addition to being the home of the Boston Symphonic Orchestra, hosts a summer music festival and music classes. Performers aside, Tanglewood’s Seiji Ozawa Hall is a modern, 1,200-seat venue that has also drawn accolades for its superior acoustics and a unique design that opens onto a broad lawn to share the experience with another 2,000 people.

With Tanglewood in mind, Laurence Furukawa-Schlereth, executive director for the newly opened Green Music Center at Sonoma State University, says, “Our vision was of a space that combined music performance and education together, and to take advantage of the extraordinary physical beauty of Sonoma County.”

Dr. Armiñana recruited Seiji Ozawa Hall’s architect, William Rawn Associates of Boston, and acoustician Kirkegaard Associates of Chicago to create a Northern California version of Tanglewood. The 38,500-square-foot Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall designed by Rawn is the centerpiece within the Green Music Center, a building designed by BAR Architects of San Francisco. The overall building is a 100,000-square-foot complex with a separate wing of classrooms,  a 250-seat recital hall, and a restaurant.

Designing within the Sonoma County context
From the outside, the structure appears similar to the vernacular of nearby wineries, whose architecture often employs stone and wood. A stately entry sequence begins with a stone colonnade that leads to a 12,000-square-foot courtyard, elegantly paved in Indian limestone. Two rows of gnarled, 125-year-old olive trees set into the courtyard provide age-old gravitas. But the shape of the hall, with its rakish, swooping roof, is definitively modern.

The trick here, as at Tanglewood, was to create an intimacy and connection between performer and audience, to make a 1,400-seat venue feel cozy. In the more familial style of contemporary halls, seating surrounds the stage on all sides; while most of the seats still face the stage, there are two balcony levels that encircle the stage. The materials also play an important role: The hall is almost entirely enveloped in wood, which brings warmth to the lofty, 50-foot-high space. “We wanted to get the color right, and also to have a mix of woods because one alone would have been dull,” says William Rawn.

The rows of open-backed chairs—designed by theater specialists Auerbach Pollock Friedlander of San Francisco—are crafted of the same durable beech as the balcony facades and trim. The floor is paneled in honey-hued Douglas fir, while the stage is white maple, tough enough to handle the hard point of a cello spike.

The hall is flooded with natural light, thanks to glass on three sides, including a row of tall windows facing the Sonoma hills to the east. “Every person who walks in feels a reverence,” says Furukawa-Schlereth. And, at the end of the hall, massive red-cedar barn doors, measuring 54 feet wide by 20 feet high, slide open onto a terraced lawn that accommodates another 3,000 guests.

Acoustics good enough for stars of the music world
From an acoustical perspective, a long, narrow space with a high ceiling was critical. “The shoebox shape produces a certain quality of sound— the narrowness provides clarity and resonance,” says acoustician Lawrence Kirkegaard. “We also strove not to lose any sound into surfaces, but keep it around for people to enjoy.” For example, the walls are an extra-thick 12 to 18 inches in order to better preserve low frequencies. While microphones pick up the sound to broadcast to patrons outside, no electronics are needed within the hall to amplify performances that are intended to be acoustic.

The hall is already hosting stars of the international circuit—the debut season features the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Anne-Sophie Mutter, and Wynton Marsalis—and it is also a home base for the Santa Rosa Symphony. Occasionally, it is also pressed into service as a classroom, allowing even students who are not music majors at Sonoma State University to experience what may be one of the most beautiful lecture halls in the country. This spring, 760 students are coming together for a course called “Living in a Changing World.” Given the setting, that message is sure to resonate.

Key Design Highlights
  • A mixture of woods—maple,
    beech, and Douglas fir—create
    different levels of warmth and
    dimension to the lofty hall.
  • Glass was installed on three sides
    of the hall to capture views of the
    rolling green hills.
  • To extend performances to
    the outdoors, the hall features
    massive red-cedar barn doors
    on one end; an additional 5,000
    concertgoers can be accommodated
    on the terraced lawn outside the doors.
  • For outstanding acoustics and to
    preserve low frequencies, walls
    are thicker than the norm for
    construction in this area.

 

Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall
Designer William Rawn Associates
Executive architect AC Martin Partners
Client Sonoma State University
Where Rohnert Park, California
What 100,000 square feet  on two floors
Cost/sf Withheld at client’s
request

SOURCES

who Project designer: William Rawn Associates. Executive architect: AC Martin Partners. Project team: Bill Bussey, project manager, AC Martin Partners; Willam L. Rawn; Clifford Gayley; Alan Joslin; Erik Tellander. Design team: Phillip Gray; Ken Amano; Matthew Cohen; Vinicius Gorgati; Sarah Michelman; Peter Reiss; Miguel Rionda; Laura Bouman; John Paul Guerrero; Sebastian Mendez. Interior designer: Bruce Danzer, Lab 3.2 Architecture. Contractor: Rudolf and Sletten. Lighting: Horton Lees Brogden. Engineering: Ove Arup & Partners. Landscape: SWA Group. Acoustician: Larry Kirkegaard, Kirkegaard Associates. Theatre consultant: Auerbach Pollack Friedlander.    
what Stage: Maharam (fabric-wrapped acoustic panels); HY Floor (white maple installation); Pook Diemont & Ohl Inc. (risers). Walls: plaster; steamed European beech. Paint: Benjamin Moore. Ceilings: Lindner. Flooring: HY Floor (vertical grain Douglas Fir). Balconies: Fetzer (tongue-and- groove Douglas Fir undersides, steamed European beech rail- ings and trim). Doors: Modernfold. Glass: Center Glass (architectural, decorative). Seating: Fancher Chair Co. (auditorium). Upholstery: Maharam.

 


Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
*Username: 
*Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 




follow us

advertisement


advertisement






advertisement


advertisement




Contract Magazine is devoted to highlighting creative interior design trends and ideas that are shaping the industry on a daily basis. Contract is proud to provide you with the most comprehensive coverage of commercial interior design products and resources that procure uniqueness when designing a space. Contract is the modern interior design magazine that recognizes fresh interior design ideas and projects powerful interior design resources.

 

Contract Magazine Home | Interior Design News | Interior Planning Products | Interior Design Research | Interior Design Competitions | Interior Design Resources | Interactive Interior Designing | Digital/Print Versions | Newsletter | About Us | Contact Us | Advertising Opportunities | Subscriber FAQs | RSS | Sitemap

© Emerald Expositions 2014. All rights reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy