Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance

Citation of Merit

  • Division: Institutional
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Architect: Hammond Beeby Rupert Ainge Inc.
  • Client: Music and Dance Theater Chicago
  • General contractor: The Clark Construction Group
  • Consultants: Thorton-Tomasetti Engineers (Structural); Environmental Systems Design, Inc.; (MEP/FP Engineer of Record); Jaffe Holden Acoustics (Acoustical Consultant); Schuler Shook (Theater Consultant); Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc. (Life Safety Consultant); The Consulting Engineers Group, Inc. (Precast Structural Engineer); Construction Cost Systems, Inc. (Cost Estimator); Kathryn Quinn Architects (Associate Architect)

Overview

Located in Chicago's Millennium Park, this new theater required that most of the building be located below the surface. Yet the architect was able to express the exterior directly related to the site in the park. Inside, they created a flexible stage large enough for classical dance, small enough for a soloist with impeccable acoustics and site lines. Jurors felt like all the goals and more were accomplished on a tight budget. The structure is all about illusion, nothing appears to be what it is; even the lights have a magical quality. "There's life in the theater whether the lights are on or off," a juror commented.

Photos

(Click each for a larger version)

Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance photo #1
Photo: Jon Miller © Hedrich Blessing
Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance photo #2
Photo: Jon Miller © Hedrich Blessing
Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance photo #3
Photo: Jon Miller © Hedrich Blessing