Oberlin College Eric Baker Nord Performing Arts Annex

  • Area

    • 15,400 ft²

Design Achievement - Nested alongside the Harrison & Abramovitz-designed 1953 Hall Auditorium, a new 300-seat adaptable theater (Hall addition) will serve as a multi-form home for the Theatre Department of Oberlin College. Typical of theaters of the era, the public and production sides of Hall Auditorium are grossly undersized and standards of accessibility are outdated. DLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky's design brings the entire complex up to contemporary standards and provides new performance opportunities for faculty and students, while maintaining the modernist structure and establishing continuity between new and old venues. The design takes into account the form of Hall Auditorium as a historic, locally significant icon and the distinct morphology of the block, designed by Cass Gilbert, resulting in three 'primary structures' in the landscape. Our approach sites the new structure back from the street edge, inviting the landscape to penetrate deeper into the block. This setback maintains the prominence of the original building on the square and reinforces the rhythm of landscape zones. 

Scope Summary - The 45,000 SF project will construct an adaptable theater addition as part of a multi-phased effort that includes the re-configuration of the 550-seat Hall Auditorium, which stages large-scale theater productions, dance performances, and opera theater. Addressing the Auditorium's current inadequacies regarding size and accessibility, the addition includes a new 300-seat, multi-form theater; a new lobby and event space, serving both the new venue and the re-configured Hall Auditorium; rehearsal space, dressing rooms, and scene and costume shops shared by both stagehouses; and classrooms, labs, and studios for acting and the arts. Sustainability considerations feature significantly in the design of the project and will reflect LEED Silver-equivalent standards. DLR Group|WRL provided architecture, MEP and structural engineering, and historic preservation 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.

Oberlin College Eric Baker Nord Performing Arts Annex

Marous Brothers Construction