Skidmore College, Arthur Zankel Music Center

Saratoga Springs, New York

  • FIRM



    Skidmore College

  • AREA

    65,000 sq.ft.





With nearly 40 full- and part-time faculty, Skidmore College’s Music Department offers more than 50 courses in such diverse areas as the Western classical tradition; electronic- and computer-based musical composition; non-Western musical forms and traditions; jazz, pop and rock; and West African drumming, as well as individual instruction in a ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMBelson Design ArchitectsCAPACITY600COST PER SQ FT$470.00FEATURED IN2011 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized of instruments and vocal genres. Students may pursue their musical passions at a level typically seen at a music conservatory, engaging in close interaction with faculty who are accomplished performers, scholars and composers.

After a study determined that even extensive, costly renovation would not bring the nearly 40-year-old Therese W. Filene Music Building up to acoustic par, the architect designed the new Arthur Zankel Music Center.

Situated on the main drive near the college’s entrance, the Zankel Center’s traditional brick, copper and glass facade echoes the style and palette of the original campus buildings, and its bold structure serves as a gateway to the campus.

Aligned along a north-south axis, the building is divided into two separate spheres of activity, with a wide, brightly lighted glass atrium crossroads in the center serving as a gathering space. 

South is the performance sphere, featuring the 600-seat Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall, an acoustically tuned space that can be scaled up or down for any size audience. Designed to accommodate a full orchestra and chorus, its stage is backed by a dramatic three-story-high glass wall overlooking nearby Haupt Pond.

North is the instructional sphere, which includes a 90-seat hall for lectures and recitals, an electronic music laboratory, a piano lab, 14 practice rooms, several classrooms and faculty offices.