Diamond Schmitt Architects unveil striking vision for Buddy Holly-inspired music and arts complex

by Kim Megson | 04 May 2016

Canadian practice Diamond Schmitt Architects have released design details for a new arts complex in Texas inspired by the legendary 1950s pop star Buddy Holly.

The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences will be located in the city of Lubbock, where the singer was born.

The multi-purpose centre will be a new home for rock concerts, operas, ballets and touring Broadway shows, as well as large-scale social and community events.

Inspired "by the spirit of West Texas," the building will have a sloping roofline. Diamond Schmitt have designed “swooping planes and cascading columns” to establish a strong visual identity and create a welcoming entrance. Overhangs on the south-facing façade, angled fins, and frit on the structure’s glazing will control heat gain.

An adjacent 200ft (61m) high telecommunications tower will be covered with a spiralling light sculpture visible from miles around, providing the hall with a beacon.

Facilities will include a 2,200-seat main theatre, an additional 400-seat theatre, a 22,000sq ft (2,000sq m) Dance Centre for Lubbock's ballet company, a bistro cafe and a large public lobby with a helical staircase which can be used throughout the day and is also flexible performance space.

“Our goal is to have this venue feel great for all types of performers and audiences – whether they are in jeans and hats or ball gowns,” said Matthew Lella, a principal at Diamond Schmitt.

To achieve this versatility, the floor of the main auditorium can have raked seating or be made flat for a standing audience – as seen in an exclusive CLAD rendering showing a rock concert taking place. Top-tier natural acoustics will make the main auditorium an ideal performing venue for large symphony orchestras.

“The aim for Lubbock is to create a performing arts centre as good acoustically, as welcoming to the public, and as attractive to performers to be among the best halls in North America,” said co-principal Jack Diamond.

The project is being developed by The Lubbock Entertainment and Performing Arts Association (LEPAA), which has raised US$81m (€70.5m, £56m) of its US$146m (€127m, £100m) fundraising target. The facility will be fully funded through private donations. A donor wall inside the centre will be made up of guitar picks to form an iconic image of Holly.

Construction is set to commence later this year with a projected opening in 2019. Diamond Schmitt are working with development team partners Garfield Public/Private, Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, MWM Architects, Hugo Reed & Associates, Jaffe Holden Acoustics, Schuler Shook and Lee Lewis Construction.

The Toronto-based studio are working on a number of other cultural and leisure projects around the world, including “an architectural rejuvenation” for Canada’s National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa and a renovated concert hall for New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts with Thomas Heatherwick.

Diamond Schmitt Architects  Buddy Holly  Texas  Lubbock  architecture  design  The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences 
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Canadian practice Diamond Schmitt Architects have released design details for a new arts complex in Texas inspired by the legendary 1950s pop star Buddy Holly. The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences will be located in the city of Lubbock, where the singer was born. The multi-purpose centre will be a new home for rock concerts, operas, ballets and touring Broadway shows, as well as large-scale social and
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The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences will be distinctive for its sloping rooftop and the adjacent light scupture / Diamond Scmitt
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