Samford University, a Georgian Colonial style campus in Birmingham, Alabama, and home to a world-class performing arts program, desired to build a new recital hall, smaller than the large Wright Center, as a venue that would allow patrons to experience performances in an optimum environment. The result is a classically-inspired 333 seat recital hall that is capable of being tuned to accommodate a variety of repertoires from operatic solos to full orchestra concerts. The building also has a full size rehearsal hall for the college’s band and orchestra; individual acoustically-isolated spaces for chamber ensembles; six practice rooms, and three faculty studios. The main performance hall is structurally isolated and the HVAC and electrical systems are designed to function in the room with total silence.
The lobby of the new recital hall is flanked by a vestibule on each side and is connected to the existing Wright Fine Arts Center Lobby. The new lobby is patterned after an English long gallery and serves as a reception area for the Brock Recital Hall and the Wright Center.
The intimate interior of the recital hall draws from the Odeon of Agrippa and Palladio’s Teatro Olimpica in Vincenza, and is simply a classical Doric temple turned inside-out. The goal was to create a visual feast as a companion to the auditory experience. The Hall’s unique gently bowed geometry distributes the sound throughout the space with richness and depth.