University of Tennessee - Natalie L. Haslam Music Center

On the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus, the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center begins with the desire to express the nature of music through architecture and detailing. 

While the facility addresses the functional needs of the school by providing 40 faculty studios, 45 practice rooms, a 420-seat recital hall, band room, choral, orchestra, percussion, and chamber music rehearsal rooms, and administrative offices, we also endeavored to inject lyrical detailing into each of these spaces through the use of patterns, light, and color.

The building is certified LEED: Silver and features an array of sustainable design techniques. BarberMcMurry maximized the green spaces around the building with drought-tolerant planting. A cistern system collects rainwater for irrigation. We used energy and solar path light modeling to reduce energy use throughout the facility. The building’s program takes advantage of glass, natural light, and views — while the glass was selected to provide appropriate shade levels. 

    According to Music Center faculty and administrators, the design of the building has led to improved recruitment rates, and the recital hall is considered among the top university recital halls in the world in terms of acoustics.

    Joint venture with Blankenship & Partners.

    "The jury immediately acknowledged that this project met many challenges, including a complex program with strong technical demands, a limited budget from a state university, and a challenging site on a college campus, where scale and pedestrian circulation is so important."

    — 2014 AIA Jury

    Completion Date: 2013

    Type: New Construction

    Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

    Building Area: 122,000 SF

    Services: Architecture, Interior Design

    Use: Education


    • LEED: Silver
    • 2017 Keep Knoxville Beautiful Orchid Award for New Architecture
    • 2014 AIA Tennessee Merit Award
    • 2014 AIA East Tennessee Merit Award

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