A 136-seat recital hall is finished with maple paneling. An ebony line frieze at the window height recalls musical notation.
Large interior openings look onto the stairwell and activate the circulation.
An ensemble of sculptures by Carl Milles sits in front of Rosse Hall, overlooking the Science and Math Quad.
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Music Building, Kenyon College
Gambier, Ohio
Kenyon College is one of the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges, located on an Ohio hilltop of exceptional beauty. The heart of the campus is a collection of Collegiate Gothic buildings, knitted together with several Neoclassical structures. An ambitious campus transformation, comprised of an addition to the music building and the creation of a new biology and chemistry complex, restores a formal quadrangle around a green oval. This reorganization of the interior academic core redefines a new campus edge, strengthens a sense of place and fosters the spirit of community.

The primary challenge was to replicate the scale of the original Neoclassical Rosse Hall with an addition sympathetic in material and form. Simplicity of materials and gestures in the new addition supports the idea of a background building in the new campus organization.

The new 14,000-square-foot addition of Storer Hall includes a recording studio, green room, electronic music laboratories, band room, 136-seat recital hall, and a collection of teaching, rehearsal and office space. Each teacher’s office can accommodate a grand piano and doubles as a private teaching area for lessons and small group sessions. This concept carries throughout the interior, as a grand piano can be on any floor, in any of the interior rooms. The elevator is large enough to accommodate the movement of all types of instruments.

A single monumental column marks the new entrance to the music department from the campus green. Through a series of design investigations for an appropriate language for this element, the column evolved into an abstracted interpretation of historic precedents.

Complementary large-scale window openings in Storer Hall recall the formal fenestration of Rosse Hall. These double-height windows offer views out onto the campus green and bring light into the main recital hall. The scale of fenestration also brings light into all levels of the addition, including the lower-level rehearsal rooms, which are more typically carved out of interstitial and basement-level spaces. A fine-grain brick with cast stone trim adds texture and interest to the sandstone material of the existing building.

Primary circulation is organized by a three-story lobby, which can be used in a variety of ways including receptions, performances, gathering space and circulation. The main stair, generously scaled and filled with light, connects activities on all three levels. The renovation and new construction form a cohesive whole and create a new heart for the music program.

COMPLETION

2000

SIZE

14,000 SF New Construction
12,500 SF Renovation

PHOTOGRAPHY

David Lamb
Jonathan Hillyer

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