Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex407 S. Pennsylvania Avenue
Joplin, Missouri 64801
Design Achievement – The new Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex honors and builds on the legacy of the arts in Joplin, Missouri, and the region. The Cornell Complex serves as the new state-of-the-art home for the Spiva Center for the Arts, the region’s premier visual arts destination, and Connect2Culture, a community arts agency and performing arts presenter. DLR Group’s building design is inspired by the natural lead and zinc formations mined in Joplin. The dynamic interplay of mass and void with a variety of surface finishes inside and out provide an ever changing dance of light over time. All interior spaces are arranged compactly around the theater to ensure efficient construction and acoustic isolation, while also creating unlimited opportunities for intentional and accidental synergies between the performing and visual arts under one roof. 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 an exterior “town green,” the stage – the heart of the facility – opens to the outside and serves a 1,500-seat amphitheater. The front and back-of-house spaces have been designed to support indoor, outdoor, and simultaneous indoor/outdoor events.
Scope Summary – Located on a 2.5-acre site, the new $15.5 million, 39,600-SF Cornell Complex features a 450-seat indoor multi-purpose performance hall and new galleries that meet the Smithsonian Institution’s standards for traveling exhibits. The highly flexible 1,500-person capacity 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 for member arts organizations. 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. 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. DLR Group is providing planning, architecture, landscape architecture, structural/MEP engineering, interiors, theater technical, low voltage/IT, security, audiovisual, and lighting design. CGA Architects is serving as Associate Architect.