Donna and Marvin Schwartz Center
for Performing Arts
Michael Dennis & Associates / Howard-Montgomery-Steger
/ Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart
A concert hall that combines modern
acoustics with historic influences
© Paul Warchol
For more photos click on 'photos
& drawings' above.
To see the people and products
behind this project click on 'people & products.'
The Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
accommodates Emory University's music, theater, and dance
programs. The building is composed of an 830-seat concert
hall, a 135-seat dance performance hall, a 135-seat lab theater,
a rehearsal hall, music practice rooms, faculty offices, and
performance lobbies. It is designed to contribute to a "village
of the arts," a vision for the universitys arts
program centered around a future arts commons, which will
be the center of academic life for arts students and faculty.
The main hall, Emerson Concert Hall,
is located at the south end of the building and its lobby
faces outward to establish a public presence on the primary
street bordering the campus. Symphony Hall in Boston and the
Vienna Grosser Musikvereinssall were studied extensively as
precedents for the concert hall design. Additionally, the
hall reflects the tradition of shoebox concert halls, featuring
tall narrow proportions with the stage inside the main volume.
Raised seating behind the stage accommodates choral performers
or general seating. Clerestory windows allow natural light
into the space.
To achieve acoustic requirements, the
architects used concrete ceiling panels and acoustical banners.
The motorized acoustical banners at the clerestory windows
and in the precast concrete ceiling vary the acoustic reverberation
time to allow the concert hall to be tuned to specific performance
requirements. A retractable acoustic curtain concealed behind
the stage aids in refining reverberation time at the performance
In addition to specialized acoustics,
the center features sustainable devices. An air displacement
system under the seating provides conditioned air directly
at this level while decreasing cooling loads. Energy efficient
glazing provides extensive natural light throughout the lobbies
and concert hall.
The Donna and Marvin Schwartz Center for Performing
90,625 sq. ft.
Michael Dennis & Associates
36 Bromfield Street
1515 Poydras Street, Suite 2680
New Orleans, LA 70112
Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart
3565 Piedmont Road, Suite 303
Atlanta, GA 30305