Recently, the Minnesota Orchestra unveiled a $40 million project to remodel its 35-year-old hall in Downtown Minneapolis. The Toronto firm of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects was chosen from a field of 100 potential architects to design the project.
Gordon Sprenger, Chair of the orchestra’s Architect Selection Committee, said, “Our committee was impressed with the way in which Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg projects merge exquisite, stunning designs with highly adaptable, functional spaces. They have a real understanding of how the public circulates and uses performing arts spaces.”
In addition to exterior revamping, updates include refreshed interior finishes and seating, lighting, and state-of-the-art sound system to support amplified performances. They will make Orchestra Hall better able to accommodate the wide variety of musical styles presented in the orchestra’s pops and jazz series. In the backstage areas, dressing rooms, locker rooms, and storage spaces will be expanded and improved to meet modern requirements. Plus, necessary upgrades will be made to critical building systems.
The orchestra will raise funds for the $40 million renovation through a combination of private fund-raising and government bonding.
Minnesota Orchestra Board Chair Jack W. Eugster explained, “The project divides into thirds. We’ve already raised $14 million, or approximately a third of the costs. We’ll seek a third through public bonding from the State of Minnesota, and we’ll privately fund-raise for the final third.”
The exact timeline for the renovation is being developed now, with a tentative January 2013 date for project completion.