Flexible Planning for Community Arts
Performance hall, galleries, event space, event lawn, offices
Architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, landscape
DLR Group’s design is rooted in local culture and context and is inspired by the natural lead and zinc formations mined in Joplin in the early 1900s. The dynamic interplay of mass and void, as well as the variety of surface finishes in these formations provide an everchanging dance of light with time.”
The new Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex in downtown Joplin delivers the community’s first multifunctional visual and performing arts venue.
Flexible Event Space Provides Endless Possibilities
The 450-seat end stage performance hall is fully convertible to a flat floor continuous with the stage to host a limitless array of event types. Positioned between the performance hall and the exterior “town green,” the stage – the heart of the facility – opens to the outside and serves a 1,500-seat amphitheater. The highly flexible outdoor event lawn will host a wide range of events and serve as an amphitheater while using the full stagehouse as its main stage.
Other amenities within the Cornell Complex include community meeting and hospitality spaces with catering capabilities as well as arts offices, meeting rooms, service facilities, and storage areas. These spaces provide opportunities for arts organizations, educational institutions, and more to host workshops and classes for the community.
Innovative Design Provides Energy and Cost Savings
The dynamic interplay of mass and void, as well as the variety of surface finishes in these formations and the building, provide an everchanging dance of light over time within the complex.
The integrated design team delivered the project on schedule and the project bid within 1% of the modest $423 per SF budget. The mechanical system has been designed to provide energy savings up to 43% above the ASHRAE required standards. Additionally, the team’s use of insulated metal panels resulted in 28% less embodied energy use (including steel frame) as compared to tilt up construction or pre-cast construction, which were also considered due to budget.
These cost saving initiatives allow the Cornell Complex to put more funding programming for the community. By infusing the project with the highest level of programming flexibility while cost effectively rooting the design in its place, the Cornell Complex will serve its community well, and sustainably, for decades to come.
Bringing Arts and Entertainment to an Area Far from the Nearest Metropolitan Hub
Despite the city‘s proximity to the borders of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma, Joplin residents often must travel between one to three hours by car to reach the nearest metropolitan cities of Springfield, Tulsa, or Kansas City. The Cornell Complex stands as an oasis in this arts desert, giving the residents of Joplin and neighboring towns easier access to arts and entertainment. Integral to the city’s economic growth and downtown development, the center serves to educate, enlighten, and attract more people and activities to Joplin.