University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's New Performing Arts Complex Wins an AIA Austin Design Award
Designers from around the central Texas region gathered at Saengerrunde Hall in Austin last week to honor their talent and innovative work at the annual AIA Austin design awards celebration. In total, 15 awards were given for designs of all types. Our friends at Page were recognized for two important University of Texas System projects — one of which was the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley Academic Performing Arts Complex. Walter P Moore’s Austin structures group served as the structural engineer for the project.
Built to accommodate the growing enrollment of fine art students, the $42.7 million, 94,000-sf, three-building complex included the renovation of two existing structures and the addition of a new Performance Hall. The new facility boasts a 1,000-seat theater and four rehearsal halls. It is a place for music and performance students to showcase their skills, for the campus to host events, and to serve the community at large. The facility made its official debut in April of 2015 featuring performances by string and wind orchestras, mariachi, and traditional dance teams.
The new structures feature masonry cladding and circular accents to blend seamlessly with the Rio Grande Valley’s unique aesthetic. The main structure is almost entirely load-bearing CMU with brick façade. In the Main Hall, the stage has a soaring 80-ft roof with rigging capacity for the locking, loading, and pin rail galleries. Focus on patron comfort was essential for the second-floor balcony structure that cantilevers as much as 18 feet over the lower seating area.
Congratulations to the entire project team for this prestigious win!