Hamel Music Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison Mead Witter School of Music

Madison, WI

Project Overview

A $55 million, 80,000-square-foot Hamel Music Center was planned at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Strang reached out to raSmith to provide structural engineering based on the staff’s unique qualifications in reverberation and acoustics design.

All halls were designed to be acoustically independent of each other to avoid structure-borne sound transfer. Strang reached out to raSmith to provide structural engineering based on the staff’s unique ability to accommodate acoustic isolation joints in the structural design. The concert hall has 60-foot-tall, 16-inch-thick concrete walls with integral recesses and projections recommended by the acoustician. Flanking each side of the concert hall are floating concrete box reverberation chambers. Both the rehearsal and recital halls were designed to have a unique exterior precast skin that has an accordion-like appearance. Acoustical isolation of the three halls from the remainder of the building was paramount in the structural design of the project. Acoustics and audio video design were provided by TALASKE | Sound Thinking. “Steve Roloff was very cooperative and diligent with accommodating acoustic isolation requirements relating to the structure” said Richard Talaske, principal acoustics consultant. “The results are excellent and there is no sound transfer between the isolated sections of the building.”

The music center includes a rehearsal hall, 319-seat recital hall and 662-seat concert hall, plus common space and a recording studio. Now completed, students, faculty and community members can discover music within the world-class facility.

The project, for its structural engineering excellence, has earned a Best of State Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Wisconsin, an Honor Award from the national ACEC organization, an Excellence in Structural Engineering – Large Project Award from the Structural Engineers Association of Wisconsin, and a Design Award from the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute.

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