William M. Lowman Concert Hall

Idyllwild
View from the east
Photo © Sharon Risedorph Photography
View from the east
Photo © Sharon Risedorph Photography
Main entry
Photo © Sharon Risedorph Photography
Lobby interior
Photo © Sharon Risedorph Photography
Auditorium stage
Photo © Sharon Risedorph Photography
Auditorium stage
Photo © Sharon Risedorph Photography
View to auditorium entrance
Photo © Sharon Risedorph Photography
Northeast elevation
Photo © Sharon Risedorph Photography
View of the Green Room
Photo © Sharon Risedorph Photography
View from the east
Photo © Sharon Risedorph Photography
First floor plan
Drawing © Sander Architects
South elevation
Drawing © Sander Architects
Architects
Sander Architects
Year
2017
Cost
1M - 100M
Stories
1-5 Stories
Client
Idyllwild Arts
Team
Whitney Sander, Catherine Holliss, Adam LIcht
Contractor
Hamel Contracting, Inc.
Acoustics
ARUP
Structural Engineer
Costa & Associates
Metal building manufacturer
Facility Builders and Erectors
Landscape architect
Z Freedman Landscape Design

“William Lowman Concert Hall is a counter-trend in an age where building costs escalate for arts and civic projects. Museum buildings are becoming more expensive than the art in them: what is amazing about this project is how skills can come to bear with technology to reverse the cost trend.” Nate Wittasek, ARUP, Project Code Consultant

The design for the William M. Lowman Concert Hall grew from the desire of the client to create a concert hall worthy of the talents of the students at the school, Idyllwild Arts—one of the country’s top three high schools for the arts. Sander Architects proposed a site at the heart of campus to repurpose an unsightly parking lot, thereby creating a central campus quad and gathering space for the school community.

This project uses Sander Architects’ Hybrid Construction, a type of construction conceived by the firm that combines a prefabricated structural system with custom design. By using prefabricated metal frames to build the most expensive structural components at a fraction of typical costs, the client’s budget can go much further.

The Concert Hall is sheathed in rusted Cor-Ten panels which have an irregular topography derived from an abstracted musical phrase. This skin alludes to the music within the hall and to the landscape of folded rock and granite that makes up the surrounding mountains. It also blends harmoniously with other buildings on campus.

From the start, Sander Architects collaborated with the acousticians to maximize the acoustical brilliance of the hall. Architect Whitney Sander was inspired by the forest of trees surrounding campus and the manner in which they all reach for the sky, for the light, and yet each one grows slightly off vertical. This erratic pattern was perfect to scatter sound and create cleaner acoustics for the performers.

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