Duluth, Minnesota, USA
19,000 square feet / 1,800 square meters
Set amid the Tweed Museum of Art and the Marshall Performing Arts Center, Weber Music Hall completes a triangle of arts buildings on the University of Minnesota-Duluth campus and establishes the School of Fine Arts as a cultural center for the region. Foremost a teaching facility, the building contains a 325-seat performance hall.
Weber Music Hall benefits from its location on the campus. It fronts the entrance to the University facing Lake Superior, as well as the performing arts courtyard, Ordean Court. Lobbies wrap the performance hall and connect to the Humanities Building and the Sports and Health Center. Weber Music Hall affords easy and direct access to additional Department of Music rehearsal spaces, large instrument storage, the music library, practice rooms and faculty offices in the Humanities Building.
A faceted, copper-shingled dome, delineated by a skylight, distinguishes the building. The dome is a traditional civic form, but the detailing of this example is contemporary. Lit at night, the skylight calls the community to a performance. During the day, the skylight fills the room with daylight.
The roof assembly of copper shingles provides interior sound reverberations and help isolate exterior noises from the performance space. The skylight has a double layer of glass that will also help prevent unwanted exterior noise out of the interior of the performance space.
The dome and the performance space below house an acoustic volume that was designed especially for large orchestral performances. The performance space supports an orchestra of up to 70 musicians and a chorus of 60. Suspended from the dome structure is the main visual feature in the room, an acoustic canopy of wooden panels supported by a steel grid.
In addition to the performance hall, the building contains a green room, a rehearsal room and audience and performer support spaces.