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School of Music + Concert Hall Liberty University


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Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall


Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

Centerpiece of Campus In 2010, Liberty University embarked upon an ambitious building campaign – guided by a new campus master plan, designed by VMDO – to dramatically recast the campus’ physical identity and envision a new academic core for the rapidly growing university. A reinvigorated commitment to a student-centered landscape sparked the elimination of poorly-built metal buildings and haphazard parking lots and roadways to make way for pedestrian pathways that organize key academic buildings around a central Campus Walk. Presiding at the ceremonial head of this renewed campus core is the Concert Hall. Strategically placed across from the Student Center and adjacent to the Library, the Concert Hall serves as a student life destination and a regional hub for the performing arts. Landscape carefully integrates student pathways, outdoor social areas, and green space into a united arts quad that connects the Concert Hall to a burgeoning School of Music and nearby academic and student life crossroads.

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Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

Front Entrance of the Concert Hall + Arts Quad


Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

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Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

Level 0

Level 1

Concert Hall

Teaching Studios

Band / Choir / Percussion Class

Support

Common Spaces

Music Classroom

Offices (Administration)

Mac Lab

Recital Room

Public Circulation

Practice Rooms

Recording Studio


Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

Level 2

Level 3

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20’

40’

80’

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Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

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Originality + Innovation The 1,600 seat Concert Hall serves as the centerpiece of the campus’ burgeoning arts community. Supporting a music program that encompasses a dynamic spectrum of musical pedagogy, the Concert Hall is well-suited for both orchestra performances and amplified acts. Conceived as a finelytuned, wood-lined chamber for natural acoustic musical performances, the Hall can also be configured to support a wide range of amplified events through sound dampening measures. By deploying acoustic banners and drapes, the Hall can physically mask its hard surfaces and transform into a space that can absorb the loudest amplified rock concert. A three-stop orchestra pit, custom immersive lighting, telescopic risers, and integrated A/V design allow for flexible configuration. Embracing three sides of the stage, a 300-seat loft engages the audience directly in the performance. At the heart of the Hall’s flexible and community-oriented design is a revolutionary approach to acoustics. Cutting-edge digital technology enables Liberty to alter the acoustical properties of the room to suit any event taking place, from soloists and orchestras to rock bands. This “phygital” control over both physical and digital acoustical dynamics is unique among performance venues and embraces the ever-expanding possibilities of musicmaking and performing in the digital age. The Hall’s size and unparalleled flexibility make it well-positioned to become the region’s premier venue for many years to come.


Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

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Recital Room

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Entry Porch

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Telescopic Risers

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Rigging / Catwalks

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Lobby

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Orchestra Pit

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Attic Return Plenum

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Support Spaces

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Exterior Circulation Ramp

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Technical Balcony

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Choral Loft

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Under Floor Supply Plenum

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Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

Celebrating the Arts

The Concert Hall’s significant central location and visibility on campus give the arts a new sense of allure while helping to promote performances within the university and the surrounding region. Complementing the interior’s emphasis on audience participation, the lobby opens up performances to public view – inviting students and visitors to peer into the Concert Hall through a series of tall widows with sliding wood shutters and engage with the various activities occurring inside and outside the space. A generous multi-level promenade stitches together the main building’s public spaces and academic programs, while indoor/outdoor connections integrate the vibrant life of the building into the campus beyond.


Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

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Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall


Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

Flexible Configuration

Liberty’s desire to showcase the broad range of ways music resides within the campus setting sparked the design of what is considered one of the first multi-modal concert halls in the U.S. The 1,600-seat Concert Hall is unique in its ability to accommodate every conceivable form of musical presentation – ranging from intimate natural acoustic concerts to large amplified events. Cutting-edge digital technology enables Liberty to alter the acoustical properties of the room with the push of a button. Physically, the Concert Hall offers various arrangements involving a three-stop orchestra pit, custom immersive lighting, telescopic risers, and integrated A/V design to suit any kind of performance. This “phygital” control over both physical and digital acoustical dynamics is unique among performance venues and embraces the ever-expanding possibilities of music-making and performing in the digital age.

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Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall


Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

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Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

Digital Acoustics

At the heart of the Concert Hall’s flexible design is a revolutionary approach to acoustics. A three-step transformative process offers comprehensive, push-button control over the Hall’s purely natural and electronically controlled acoustical dynamics. The baseline state of the room is a Hickory-clad chamber that supports natural acoustical performances. By deploying acoustic banners and drapes, the Hall can physically mask its hard surfaces and transform into a less reverberant space for amplified music. Finally, a layer of digital architecture supports the alteration of acoustic parameters with the assistance of hundreds of small mics and speakers. Combined with its size, this unparalleled flexibility make the Concert Hall well-positioned to become the region’s premier venue for many years to come.


Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

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Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall


Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

Engaging the Audience

The sculptural form of the Concert Hall diverges from a conventional “shoebox” shape by deploying an expressive language of sinuous walls, balconies, and wrap-around seating – all housed within an iconic semicircular shell. This design helps connect the audience and performers using a centripetal composition focusing on the stage and orchestra pit. By placing audience members in high-quality seats closer to the action, the intimate arrangement encourages participation rather than observation. A 300-seat loft embraces three sides of the stage and, when not being used by the choir, further augments the sense that the audience is directly engaged in the performance. Daylighting and perimeter glazing attempt to break down the introverted nature of this often-closed space type – allowing the Concert Hall to remain visible from the exterior and lobby. A series of radially-located windows perforate the Hall’s curved exterior wall, bathing the stage and chamber with daylight and conveying an ambiance of warmth and wellness.

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Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

School of Music

Programmatically, the School of Music helps unite the departments of music, performing arts, and worship into one building – consolidating various academic programs into what is now the 7th largest music program in the U.S. Students and instructors from a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs meet and collaborate in a range of learning spaces – each painstakingly designed to produce the perfect physical and digital space for musical performance. Anchoring the academic wings of the School of Music are the 250-seat band room and the stepped 150 seat choir recital room – featuring carefully-tuned spaces for practice and performance. Instructors in each of the School’s five specialty areas – voice, guitar, piano, instrumental, and songwriting – work out of sound-isolated teaching studios that allow for the small group instruction so fundamental to music education. These studios are arranged around associated commons spaces, where larger groups from each of the specialty areas can gather to practice and study. Four 40 person classrooms support the more traditional learning objectives of the music program and can be scheduled by the University for classes outside of the School of Music. In addition to the main concert hall, two recital rooms (100 and 50 seats respectively) provide professional-caliber listening and recording spaces that can be used for both academic purposes as well as more intimate public shows.


Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

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Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall


Liberty University School of Music + Concert Hall

“We have needed this facility for years. I think it is going to give our students a place where they can study and learn and create and experience music in an expressive way, in an incredibly productive environment. We really think we can develop a music community here that will be as good as any place in the country.�

Ve rno n Wh a l ey D ea n o f th e S c h o o l o f M u si c

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VMDO Architects vmdo.com | 434.296.5684 200 E Market St Charlottesville, VA 22902 1200 18th Street NW Suite 700 Washington, DC 20036

For more information on Higher Education work please contact:

For more information on School of Music + Concert Hall please contact:

David Oakland, FAIA, LEED AP oakland@vmdo.com

Drew Fleming, AIA, LEED AP BD+C fleming@vmdo.com

Joe Atkins, AIA, LEED AP BD+C atkins@vmdo.com

Jim Kovach kovach@vmdo.com

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Liberty University - School of Music + Concert Hall  

Liberty University - School of Music + Concert Hall  

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