Denison University - Michael D. Eisner Performing Arts Center

  • Opened/Completed

    • 2019

Design Achievement - The theater, dance, and music programs at Denison University were formerly spread out and isolated from one another on the Fine Arts Quad. The new Michael D. Eisner Center for the Arts designed by DLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky unites Denison’s dance, music, and theater programs within a single building that also serves as a gateway to the historic village adjacent to the campus. The building’s exterior respects the historical character of the campus and village while creating a modern interior to facilitate collaboration between the students and professors of each department. Corridors are widened and populated with loose furnishings to encourage students to study, socialize, and engage with one another, while practice rooms along the main corridors have large expanses of acoustically treated glazing to visually activate the space. Department offices are located together at the south entrance so that faculty can be close to one another as well.
 
Scope Summary - The project includes new performance venues with support spaces, classroom and offices, and a partial renovation of Burke Hall which is attached to the new building. Performance spaces include a 400-seat theater with a wrap-around balcony and an adjustable throat stage; a 2,400-SF dance hall with flexible seating and performance arrangements; and a multi-purpose black box room. Each space is optimized for flexibility and can be used by any of the departments. Support spaces include a 2,300-SF scene shop and a costume shop; three large music rehearsal rooms; and a choir room.  The program includes 47 offices for tenured and visiting professors, 27 of which serve as teaching studios that are acoustically separated from one another. The building was designed to achieve a LEED Gold rating. The firm also designed for a potential geothermal well field and solar panel array that can be added later. DLR Group|WRL provided full architectural services, structural, MEP, lighting, fire protection, and telecommunications engineering services, theatrical, and audiovisual design services.
 
DLR Group acquired Westlake Reed Leskosky in September 2016. Today, the combined design expertise and resources of Westlake Reed Leskosky and DLR Group serve clients as a global, integrated design firm committed to elevating the human experience through design.

Denison University - Michael D. Eisner Performing Arts Center

Client
Denison University