University of Tennessee – Natalie L. Haslam Music Center

Building Area: 122,000 s.f.

Date of Completion: Fall 2013

Type: New Construction

Location: Knoxville, TN

Budget: $33,182,055

Challenge: Design a replacement School of Music to bring the program into the 21st century.

Solution: Our design for the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center begins with the desire to express the nature of music in the architecture and detailing throughout the building. 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 endeavored to inject lyrical detailing into each of these spaces through the use of patterns, light, and color.

The building is also designed to meet LEED sustainability standards, and is certified LEED: Silver. BarberMcMurry maximized the green spaces around the building with drought-tolerant planting. The 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. These elements demonstrate that environmentally responsible design can be beautiful, functional, and affordable.

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