Stanford selects design team for new concert hall

Stanford University on Wednesday announced plans for a 900-seat, state-of-the-art performing arts venue slated to open on campus in 2012.

The New York-based firm Polshek Partnership Architects, which worked on San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as well as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Santa Fe Opera Theater, is handling the project. Richard Olcott and Timothy Hartung will lead the design team.

Nagata Acoustics’ Yasuhisa Toyota will be in charge of the center’s acoustic design. Among Toyota’s high-profile projects is the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Theater design consultant Fisher Dachs Associates will also collaborate on the project.

“The selection of this award-winning design team for the Performing Arts Center is a landmark in the university’s continuing efforts to strengthen the arts at Stanford,” said Stanford University President John Hennessy. “The construction of the concert hall, made possible by the generosity of Helen and Peter Bing, will provide the cornerstone for a future arts district that will bring increased creative talent and energy to Stanford’s academic mission and the community’s cultural life.”

Officials said the new concert hall will be the site of live performances including chamber, jazz, orchestral, multimedia, concert opera and choral programs presented by Stanford Lively Arts and the Department of Music, as well as other university and student performance organizations. It also will host symposia and longer-term residencies by visiting artists and serve to develop new works and collaborations.

Further plans call for the hall to eventually be joined by an adjacent 500-seat theater to form a campus Performing Arts Center. The theater, which would be used for drama and dance productions, would include an outdoor theater garden, a café, and “back-of-house” areas such as a costume shop.

— Staff report

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