Built in 1972, the Holden Fine Arts building is home to UW-Superior’s Music and Art departments. The facility houses the Manion and Experimental Theatres, includes a scene shop, costume and makeup shop, control booth, design room and green room, as well as classrooms, rehearsal rooms and lecture hall spaces. Many of the classrooms have not been updated in the building’s 43-year life and some limitations are now in dire need of being addressed.
SDS Architects was commissioned by the State of Wisconsin to complete two remodeling and improvement projects in this facility: one for musical arts and the other for weaving arts.
The focus of the musical arts remodeling is to solve acoustical problems in various location throughout the building. These problems are due to many reasons, but are primarily because rooms which were designed to be general classrooms are now being used for music rehearsal spaces, causing sound bleeding between rooms. The greatest challenge is in the existing band and choir room where the existing acoustical panels do not adequately support both vocal and instrumental needs. Teaming with Orfield Labs, a nationally recognized acoustic consulting firm, we’re developing a straightforward solution to allow for flexible reverberation times in the room depending upon its user group. This room will also receive a technology upgrade, a new sound system with in-class recording and playback capabilities, and new risers. Also, an under-utilized classroom will be converted to rehearsal space for lessons, small ensembles, music jury exams, conducting practicums, and techniques classes.
The weaving arts portion of the project will transform an existing classroom into a second weaving lab. Corridor walls will be opened up to include windows, allowing the classrooms to be on display for passers-by and for simultaneous observation by one instructor. Due to a current lack of space and safety concerns, some looms are being used in a painting classroom located two floors above the current weaving lab, which is problematic for proper instruction.
Design for this project is underway with construction scheduled for completion in 2016.