Bibbins - Stull Hall
Oberlin College - Conservatory of Music, Oberlin, OH
Press: Architectural Record
Photography: Tim Si and JKURTZ Architects
Firm of record: Westlake Reed Leskosky
Jonathan Kurtz, WRL Principal and Lead Designer
The goal of this project was to find space for a much needed new recital and performance hall within the Minoru Yamasaki-designed Oberlin Conservatory of Music complex. The hall was required to exhibit excellent acoustic performance and isolation for ensemble recitals, to serve as a multi-purpose daily-use classroom, and to accommodate up to 65 occupants; all within a poured concrete and precast shell designed in 1964 and subject to historic landmarks design oversight. The intervention would modify Bibbins Hall, the main conservatory teaching unit, which fronts on Tappan Square and makes up much of the collective landscape of the city.
The solution was to replace two classrooms and two offices on the top level of the existing building with a new double-height volume. This would require cutting away the roof diaphragm and introducing a new steel truss to transfer loads, support the new structure, and serve as the armature for the intervention.