Kalamazoo College, Fine Arts Building

Kalamazoo, Michigan

After more than 30 years in operation, this auditorium and its support spaces were in dire need of a facelift. Besides aged seats and finishes, the balcony did not meet barrier-free codes, and the acoustics did not work well for vocal music.

The solution was to gut the auditorium and change the lobby significantly. The architect created a proscenium opening at ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMRobert F. Mahoney & Associates, Acoustical ConsultantCOST PER SQ FT$103.24FEATURED IN2003 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYAuditoriums/Music Rooms stage, which enhances the ambience and acoustics for both vocal and orchestral music. A new semicircular thrust stage offers more flexibility. New variable acoustic wall treatments were applied, seats were completely refurbished, catwalks for access were created, all new lighting was installed, and the mechanical systems were designed to perform to exacting standards with no interference during performances.

To solve the barrier-free issues, a cantilevered corridor was created in the two-story lobby, serving as an accessible path from the elevator to balcony seating. This corridor also scales down the lobby to a more human proportion. A new entry addition was added to greet guests arriving from the rear parking lot. New lighting, doors and finishes further enhanced the aesthetics of the facility.