A dynamic new building rising along University Avenue in Madison is heralding in the future of the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Mead-Witter School of Music. The Hamel Music Center will be a state-of-the-art performance and educational center. This is the first in a series of blogs on the venue’s many unique qualities.
At the front door of the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, people are beginning to turn their heads and look. As the pre-cast folded walls are set in place along University Avenue and the sight of steel beams evolves into the eye-catching façade of the Hamel Music Center, the campus is abuzz.
That’s exactly how this was intended. When completed in early 2019, the 63,300 SF-building will anchor the East Campus Arts Gateway and become a showcase for the Mead-Witter School of Music’s program for years to come.
Soon clerestory windows will sit above the 33-foot walls and new beams will rise to marshal in the coming of a glass-walled lobby. Upon completion, a glass corner of the building will allow passersby to watch musicians rehearsing. Such extended transparency is intended to create educational and community connections between working musicians and the public, a key priority for the Mead Witter School of Music.
The venue, by Strang, in conjunction with Holzman Moss Bottino, will host more than 350 events annually, from symphony and chamber orchestras to soloists and choral performers. University officials are excited to see it completed and students are eager to study, practice and perform there.
At Strang, we’re just honored to be part of it. Andy Guerts, our Director of Mechanical Engineering and a UW graduate said, “this type of project makes me proud to tell people what I do.” Senior Architectural Designer Jacob Ziomek added, “working on a project which will be a work of art in its own has been inspiring to me.”
We hope it will inspire so many students, performers and audiences in the future. Until then, enjoy watching it blossom before your eyes.
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