ARTHUR MILLER THEATER + WALGREEN DRAMA CENTER
University of Michigan’s School of Music
Ann Arbor, 2008
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
University of Michigan School of Music, Department of Theatre and Drama
$28.4 million (cost includes Walgreen Center and the North Campus Auditorium)
Stately by day and luminous at night, the new Arthur Miller Theater commands several new courtyards on University of Michigan’s North Campus.
MICHIGAN’S GREAT PLAYWRIGHT
A new teaching theatre with support spaces for rehearsal and production occupies a key site near the school of music’s Eero Saarinen building and honours the University of Michigan’s famous alumnus Arthur Miller.
From the outside, the theatre is articulated as a distinct columned pavilion, clad entirely in translucent and clear glass. It attaches to one end of a linear studio/classroom building, and in doing so, frames two courtyards and becomes a luminous beacon for Michigan’s North Campus.
FLEXIBLE COURTYARD STAGE
Inside the flexible courtyard theatre, a wide thrust stage reflects the university’s pedagogical need to provide a teaching space for predominantly large-cast plays. In translation, the building is a simple layering of elements: a steel frame courtyard with seating inside, a concrete box and finally a translucent shroud of backlit glass wrapping the whole, excepting the lobby, where the glass is transparent.
KPMB Architects: Thomas Payne (partner-in-charge), Christopher Couse (senior associate), David Jesson (associate-in-charge), Erik Jensen, Margaret Graham D’Elia, Dan Benson, Nicholas Choy, Scott Pomeroy, Jimmy Sun, Jeff Strauss, Miyako Panalaks, Ricardo Wulff, Jennifer Davis
Thornton Tomasetti (structural), AltieriSeborWieber (mechanical/electrical/plumbing/fire protection), Philip R Sherman PE (fire and life safety), Beckett and Raeder (civil/landscape), Theatre Projects Consultants Inc. (theatre), The Talaske Group Inc. (acoustics/AV), Suzanne Powadiuk (lighting), Vermeulens (costing)