University of Mount Union Giese Center for the Performing Arts1972 Clark Avenue
Alliance, OH 44601
Design Achievement - The University of Mount Union, a four-year, private, liberal arts college enrolling more than 2,200 undergraduates, wanted a synergistic home for its Theater, Music, and Dance programs befitting its commitment to the arts and to providing a well-rounded student experience. The existing Performing Arts facility, comprising Rodman Theatre, Cope Music Facility, and Crandall Gallery, was built in the 1950s and was in need of aesthetic, technological, programmatic, and infrastructure upgrades. DLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky’s design renovates and expands this existing facility creating a new state-of-the-art venue that establishes it as a premier cultural arts center for the region. Architecturally, the renovations and additions complement the existing modernist style. The building’s new and open lobby creates an attractive and definable edge to the northern border of the campus lake, opposite the Gartner Welcome Center, also designed by our firm.
Scope Summary - The multi-phased renovation and expansion project is one of the initial building projects to emerge from the 2011 Campus Master Plan, a study executed by DLR Group|WRL. Phase 1 included a 19,000 SF addition and 8,000 SF of new infill construction in the existing performing arts courtyard. The addition contains a new 450-seat proscenium theater (Brush Performance Hall) for vocal, instrumental, and theatrical performances; a multi-purpose black box theater (Gallaher Black Box Theatre) for improv performances, theater-in-the-round, small music ensemble recitals, dance performances, and other events such as banquets and receptions; rehearsal space; scene and costume shops; performer and patron support; and a new lobby. The infill construction contains a choir room, multi-functional dance and classroom space, and faculty offices, which are supplied with natural light via clerestory windows that ring the space. Additionally, the project included the Otto Art Gallery, featuring exhibitions of work by students, faculty, and professionals. DLR Group|WRL also completed a building assessment and program study to renovate the remainder of the complex not upgraded in the Phase 1 project. Phase 2 includes finish, performance, and acoustical improvements to Cope Music Hall, Presser Recital Hall, and a Band Room. DLR Group|WRL provided architecture, MEP and structural engineering, interior design, theater technical, audiovisual, information transport, and lighting design services for the project.
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.