College Planning & Management

OCT 2012

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F&E 2 012 Furniture & Equipment wall of the stage was made of rolling tow- ers that can be arranged around smaller ensembles to create the acoustic and visual environment they need. Flexibility Performance spaces can be expensive, and they are utilized less often than re- hearsal spaces, scene shops, and admin- istrative space. Finding ways to make performance spaces operate for multiple functions brings a great deal of value. The Logan Center's Performance Hall is designed with this fl exibility built in. The stage is designed to support acoustic music performance. The design team surrounded the performance space with acoustically refl ec- tive walls and ceiling so that the stage and seating area are one contiguous space. Dance also takes place in the Performance Hall, and dance needs a performance area where things like lighting and dancers waiting to make an entrance can be hidden from view. Typically, a large footprint al- lows for a true stage house and a portable orchestra enclosure. On a site with a smaller footprint, other methods of creat- ing this fl exibility needed to be developed. The solution for the Logan Center involves rotating wall panels which, when rotated, open to reveal small stage wings behind the acoustic walls. These provide suffi cient space for dancers to safely run out of audi- ence view as well as for the mounting of side lighting that properly models dancers in space. Another key to making any perfor- mance space fl exible is providing suffi - cient storage. It's impossible to use the same stage for orchestra and dance if there is nowhere to store musicians' risers or music stands. In the Logan Center, every available square foot not used for some- thing vital is used for storage. Maintainability Any design solution is only as good as an owner's ability to maintain it. This is true of curtain walls, classroom fl oors, and ENJOY THE SHOW. Flexible spaces within the Logan Center on the campus of the University of Chicago were designed to accommodate a variety of performances, from dances and plays to solo acoustic musicians and spoken word. The rear wall of the stage in the 474-seat Performance Hall is made of rolling towers that can be reconfi gured for large or small performances as needed. Rotating walls also help to reconfi gure the stage. Every square foot both on stage and off was planned for, and any space not vital to a performance is used for storage. performance spaces. Lighting is particularly maintenance- intensive. Even the introduction of solid- state lighting like LEDs does not eliminate the need to access fi xtures for maintenance and repair. In performance spaces, which are often tall and frequently have uneven fl oor surfaces like stepped risers, the best and safest method of ensuring that systems can be maintained is to develop a means 48 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / OCTOBER 2012 of accessing the upper area of the room. In the Logan Center's three spaces dedicated to live performance, that access is achieved with catwalks. These catwalks are designed to safely allow operators to access lighting for the audience, lighting and motors used for production, and for variable acoustic devices. The goal is to create a space that has a zero ladder-use requirement, so that all equipment at height can be reached from WWW.PLANNING4EDUCATION.COM PHOTO © BETH ROONEY PHOTO © JASON SMITH

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