Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts by Snøhetta

Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing ArtsOn the Northeastern shores of Lake Ontario, the 80,000 square-foot Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts unites a diverse range of performance and creative art disciplines under a single roof, housing a 566-seat Performance Hall, classrooms, rehearsal and performance spaces for the School of Music and the Departments of Drama, Film and Media at Queen’s University.
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing ArtsThroughout the design process, Snøhetta worked closely with Queen’s University to develop a collaborative, supportive learning environment for young artists and performers to grow in their discipline. The breath-taking views and natural calm inspired the design language and material choices for the project, conceiving an open, crisp and clear space for students to focus on Arts Education.
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing ArtsThe architectural strategy in re-using the site’s historic buildings was developed through workshops with preservation consultants and the Heritage Committee of Kingston, defining a clear distinction between new structures and architectural heritage elements. The stainless steel façade of the new structures reflects back upon the monochromatic whites and greys of the winter skies and frozen lake, referencing the moment when water turns to ice.
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing ArtsThe complementary dark grey wood siding on the historic structures references black barns, whose dark wood was used to withstand moisture. The centerpiece of the new Performing Arts Centre is the 566-seat performance hall. Designed as a classical music theatre, the proportions and acoustics are based on studies of the great historic ‘jewel box’ concert halls of Europe.
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing ArtsWorking closely with the Acousticians at Arup, the concert hall design allows for superb live acoustical musical performances, without relying on electronic amplification for optimum sound quality. The hall provides an engaging and intimate experience for both performers and audiences. The Concert Hall’s interior design references geological patterns of t he Kingston area’s local rock strata, referencing its famed role as limestone capital of Canada.
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing ArtsEmploying 3D computer modeling algorithms, Snøhetta and Arup shaped a visually stunning interior that provides the optimum level of sound diffusion, surface texture and specular reflection. Historically, classical music theatres were designed as relatively symmetrical spaces based on the architectural and stylistic preferences during the Baroque and Renaissance periods, but through continual feedback and acoustic modeling studies at Arup’s Soundlab.
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing ArtsThe design team was able to develop optimized wall shaping and recognized that employing an asymmetrical ceiling layout in a symmetrical room also could provide a superb acoustical experience. During amplified musical performances, such as Jazz or Rock Music, a series of acoustical drapes can be deployed over sections of the side walls to provide sound absorption and lower the reverberation time.
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing ArtsThe Isabel’s Rehearsal spaces also provide waterfront views to Lake Ontario. A shared green space ties The Isabel with the neighbouring Tett Centre, providing an open, framed view of Lake Ontario for visitors arriving to the Arts Campus. When entering The Isabel, students and guests are greeted by a large public lobby with stunning waterfront views.
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing ArtsThis social meeting place is conceived as a seamless continuation of the spectacular landscape. Portions of the ceiling plane are finished with the same reflective metal as the facade, bringing reflections of the lake and landscape into the building. At night, the activities and light of the lobby spill out onto the waterfront, creating a bright, safe environment for visitors to step outside.
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing ArtsThe new patio allows patrons to sit close to the lake, while also maintaining a natural edge between land and water. The design team reclaimed and recycled large quantities of wood flooring, structural columns and beams discovered in the historic buildings to use as wall and ceiling cladding in the public interior spaces, as well as millwork in the greenroom and lobby. Inside, the rich colour palette provides a cosy, inviting environment for students at work. Source by Snøhetta.
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing ArtsLocation: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Architects: Snøhetta
Executive Architect: N45
Acousticians: Arup
Theatre Consultant: TPC
Area: 80,000 square-foot
Year: 2007 – September 2014
Client: Queen’s University
Photographs: Snøhetta, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *