Name: Marion Oliver McCaw Hall
Location: Seattle, Washington
Size: 280,000 SF, 2900 seats
Cost: $125 million
Renovation of the 74-year-old Seattle Center Opera House was accomplished through public and private financing. Public sources will fund $55 million while private gifts will total $70 million. It was decided that the Opera House should be renovated because of its superior acoustics and the cost savings over building a new performance hall. The renovated hall will be named after Marion Oliver McCaw Garrison, a longtime supporter of the arts and opera enthusiast.The design objective was to create a hall that engages the entire community while honoring the patrons and performers it serves. Public spaces will be defined by a serpentine outer lobby that shimmers with colored lights projected onto a series of sheer metal curtain scrims. The reworked auditorium will preserve the building’s renowned acoustics while narrowing the walls to improve sightlines and create a more intimate relationship between performer and patron. Mechanical improvements will include new heating and cooling, stage, theatrical, backstage and fly loft systems. Complete seismic and life-safety upgrades are also planned.Amenities include a 12,000-square-foot grand lobby, 388-seat lecture hall, cafe, concessions, double the number of women’s restrooms, faster elevators with more capacity, and an enlarged side stage with storage, warm-up and staging areas. Outdoors, a plaza will include seating along with water and landscape features.While construction is performed over the next two years, Mercer Arts Arena will serve as a temporary venue for the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Opera. Upgrades to that facility started last June and were finished in December. It took about $4.5 million to convert the old hockey arena into a performing arts venue with stage, orchestra pit, and new mechanical and electrical systems. Richaven participated in the adaptation of the Mercer Arts Arena also.
Images courtesy of LMN Architects. Description courtesy of the Daily Journal of Commerce. Architectural work performed by Brian Rich at LMN Architects. CA work performed on Mercer Arts Arena rehabilitation as a component of the overall project.