KVA was commissioned to design a seasonal performance space for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham, Alabama. KVA envisioned the space as both a performance venue and a destination for informal public gathering. The design is based upon two distinct surfaces and the interstitial space that they create. The exterior is clad in a perforated metal skin that cloaks the performance space and provides shade while simultaneously supplying an identity for the structure. The stage, situated within this cladding, provides an acoustically sound space for the orchestra and a place for public meeting in the off season. A large folding door at the rear opens the “interior” space to frame views of the surrounding city on non-performance days.

Through their interaction these distinct systems create zones for diverse programmatic elements. At the South the metal skin pulls away from the wood to create a covered space for impromptu performances. The interactive signage element embedded in the exterior of the wood at this moment, alerts the public of upcoming events and enlivens the space. The divergence of systems at the North crafts a thickened two story volume that houses ASO program on its interior and a covered space for VIP events above.

Date: 2012
Client: Birmingham Railroad Park
Location: Birmingham, AL
Design Team:
Frano Violich, FAIA; Managing Principal
Sheila Kennedy, FAIA; Principal Consulting on Design
Veit Kugel Dipl Ing, Senior Associate; Project Designer
Jeffrey Lee, Senan Choe
Architect: Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd
Septic Consultant: Stamski & McNary Engineers
Structural Engineer: Robson & So Engineering, Inc

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