Rice University, Alice Pratt Brown Hall, Shepherd School of MusicRice University, Shepherd School of Music
© Auerbach Pollock Friedlander
© Paul Hester
© Paul Hester

Rice University, Shepherd School of Music

Houston, Texas

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander collaborated with architect Ricardo Bofil, acoustics consultant Lawrence Kirkegaard and Dean Michael Hammond in the design concept, theatre consulting and performance systems design for the concert and theatrical venues at the Shepherd School of Music. Each of the performance spaces, the 1,000-seat Stude Concert Hall, the 250-seat Duncan Recital Hall, the Wortham Opera Theatre, the 200-seat Edythe Bates Old Recital Hall organ studio and the Hirsch Orchestra Rehearsal Hall is designed and purposely intended to provide students and professionals with world-class venues.

Modeled after the Musikverein in Vienna, the Stude Concert Hall hosts chamber music and solo performances in a classic shoebox space. With flexible seating on the orchestra lift and choral seating behind the stage, the Hall can be configured in multiple ways to suit different performance types and sizes.

Used for student and faculty recitals, lecture recitals, guest speakers and master classes, the Duncan Recital Hall – a smaller version of the Stude – is known as the busiest venue in the Shepherd School.

The Hirsch Orchestra Rehearsal Hall provides an acoustically-isolated environment for rehearsals, classes, workshops and recitals. The Opera Theatre, a black-box theatre, with an orchestra pit, flexible seating and overhead technical support, provides flexibility and intimacy for the school’s opera program.

Finally, the organ studio, created specifically for a singular organ, features a 78-foot high ceiling and is easily spotted from the exterior as the tallest portion of the building.

Architect: Ricardo Bofill, in association with Kendall/Heaton Associates
Acoustics: Kirkegaard Associates
Size: 115,000 SF
Cost: $34,000,000
Completion: 1991