Louisiana State University, Music and Dramatic Arts Building

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • FIRM

    HMS Architects


    Louisiana State University

  • AREA

    112,335 sq.ft.





This 1920s Italianate-style building is recognized in the State Register of Historic Places, but lacked the modern amenities to properly support the college’s music and theater programs. The common areas were substandard in function and safety.

Critical to providing a successful solution was understanding the department ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMTipton AssociatesCOST PER SQ FT$153.77FEATURED IN2012 Architectural Portfolio and changing curriculum. Programming exercises determined that the academic needs of the department included new classrooms, offices, faculty studios, rehearsal spaces and practice rooms.

The final design brought new clarity to the circulation and visual balance to a discordant series of prior additions. The solution restores and enhances the distinctive Art Deco elements of the original 424-seat proscenium theater and lobby. It introduces state-of-the-art classrooms and practice facilities situated in a new infill wing of the building. Finally, the deficient egress and life-safety issues were addressed and upgraded to modern standards in an unobtrusive fashion to maintain the original character of the historic spaces.

The new design overhauls an obsolete building infrastructure while working within the boundaries of a restricted site and budget.