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Skidmore College
Arthur Zankel Music Center

Design: About Arthur Zankel Music Center

A New Home—The Arthur Zankel Music Center

With approximately 54,000 square feet of teaching, practice, performance, and administrative space (more than double the size of the Filene Music Building), Skidmore’s new Arthur Zankel Music Center is the new hub of musical activity on campus. Designed by the Philadelphia architectural firms of EwingCole and BelsonDesignArchitects and drawing upon the expertise of acousticians, theater designers, and landscape architects, the center reflects Skidmore’s commitment to the arts and to creative thinking. Construction of the project has been handled by MLB Construction Services.

Aligned along a north-south axis, the building is divided into two separate spheres of activity, with a wide, brightly lit glass atrium in the center, serving as a crossroads and a gathering space. To the south is the performance sphere, featuring the 600-seat Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall, an acoustically tuned space that can be scaled up or down in size for smaller and larger audiences. Designed to accommodate both a full orchestra and chorus, its stage is backed by a dramatic three-story-high glass wall overlooking nearby Haupt Pond.

To the north is the instructional sphere, which includes faculty offices, 14 practice rooms, the 90-seat Elisabeth Luce Moore Hall for lectures and recitals, electronic music laboratory, piano lab, and several classrooms. The expectation is that this wing will be used virtually around the clock to accommodate the practice schedule and creative needs of students during evening and night hours, and teaching needs during the day.

Located on the main drive near the front entrance of the College, the Zankel Center serves as a gateway building for the campus. Its traditional brick, copper, and glass facade harkens back to the style of the initial campus buildings, while its bold structure works in tandem with the similarly powerful shape of the nearby Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery. Together with the Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater, the Marjorie Saisselin Art Building, and the original Therese W. Filene Music Building, it creates a true arts quadrangle.

The total cost of the building, including construction, equipment, and architectural fees, is $32.5 million.

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