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Building Facts

Location
Project Team
Key Features
Building Details
Project Funding


 LOCATIONThe Curtis Institute of Music’s new Lenfest Hall at 1616 Locust Street. (photo: Tom Crane)

  • Lenfest Hall is located at 1616 Locust Street, within two blocks of all current Curtis buildings.
  • Curtis’s beloved historic buildings at 1718, 1720, and 1726 Locust Street remain in essential use, hosting lessons, classes, rehearsals, the Student Recital Series, and the weekly Tea.
  • Lenfest Hall completes a “Curtis corridor” along Locust Street from Rittenhouse Square to the Avenue of the Arts, where the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Curtis Opera Theatre perform regularly at the Kimmel Center.

 

Photo: Tom Crane


 

PROJECT TEAM

  • Architect: Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Inc.
  • Real Estate Development Manager: Razak Company
  • Construction Manager: Intech Construction, Inc.
  • Structural Engineers: Keast & Hood Co.
  • Civil Engineer: Stantec
  • MEP Engineer; IT and Security Consultant: Marvin Waxman Consulting Engineers, Inc. a subsidiary of Urban Engineers, Inc
  • Acoustical Consultant: Kirkegaard Associates
  • Lighting Consultant: Grenald Waldren Associates
  • Audio Visual Consultant: Metropolitan Acoustics, LLC
  • Preservation Consultant: Noble Preservation Services, Inc.
  • LEED Consultant: Re:Vision

 

Photo: Curtis's historic main building at 1726 Locust Street, which will remain in essential use. (photographer: Pete Checchia)


KEY FEATURES

  • 32 teaching studios, chamber music rehearsal rooms, classrooms, and practice rooms--doubling the amount of practice and rehearsal space currently available to Curtis students, all of it soundproof and secure 
  • 24/7 access to dedicated practice spaces for all student residents 
  • A 2,850-square-foot acoustically designed rehearsal hall for the Curtis Symphony Orchestra--nearly three times the size of the previous rehearsal space 
  • Comfortable, safe housing for more than 80 students--nearly half the student body
  • "Green design" incorporates sustainable construction practices and operational features; the project targets LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) at the gold level 
  • Dining services for the entire Curtis community
  • State-of-the-art technologies to enhance learning include full-building wifi, Internet2, video and audio recording studios, and recording capability in all teaching studios 
  • Relief of scheduling pressures on Curtis's historic buildings--classes, lessons, and rehearsals will be split between Lenfest Hall and the existing facilities
  • VSBA's design is contextual and contemporary, honoring the streetscape of a venerable historic block while celebrating the 21st-century evolution of Curtis

 

Photo, above: The new teaching and rehearsal spaces were designed with instrument-specific needs in mind. The percussion studio includes triple-glazed windows for sound insulation. (photographer: Matt Wargo)


Photo, right: The 2,850-square-foot orchestra rehearsal hall--nearly three times the size of the previous rehearsal space. (photographer: Tom Crane)


 

BUILDING DETAILS

First Floor: THE COMMONS

One of the building's main social centers, the Commons includes a comfortable lounge looking out onto historic St. Mark's Church, as well as a dining hall that is open to the Curtis community seven days a week.


Second Floor: ORCHESTRA REHEARSAL HALL AND TEACHING STUDIOS

A 2,850-square-foot, acoustically designed rehearsal hall accommodates a full orchestra for the largest-scale core repertoire, with state-of-the-art video, audio, and Internet2 capabilities. Teaching studios for percussion, double bass, and harp are located adjacent to the rehearsal hall.


Third Floor: STUDIOS AND CLASSROOMS FOR TEACHING, REHEARSAL, AND PRACTICE

Studios for teaching, practice, and chamber music rehearsal enable Curtis to meet the practice needs of every student, whether living in the residence hall or off-campus.


Fourth Floor: ORCHESTRA LIBRARY, STUDIOS, AND CLASSROOMS

The Orchestra Library houses all performance materials, scores, and parts used for orchestra rehearsals and concerts. The fourth floor also includes studios for teaching, practice, and rehearsals.


Fifth Floor: STUDENT SOCIAL CENTER AND DANNENBAUM TERRACE

A media/entertainment room opens onto an outdoor terrace overlooking Locust Street. Landscaped by renowned garden designer Jon Carloftis, the Dannenbaum Terrace includes native plantings as well as herbs and vegetables to be used in meals served in the dining hall.


Sixth through Ninth Floors: STUDENT RESIDENCES

Each suite includes four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and common/social space.
 

Generous donors have named many of the studios and common spaces within Lenfest Hall. For complete information, see Plans and Renderings.

 

Photo: The fifth floor terrace serves as a social center and includes a green roof around the perimeter. (photographer: Matt Wargo)


PROJECT FUNDING

  • Curtis Board Chairman H. F. "Gerry" Lenfest and Curtis Overseer Marguerite Lenfest purchased the Locust Street site for Curtis in 2008 at a cost of $13.2 million.
  • A generous $30 million challenge grant from the Lenfests accelerated the funding for the project.
  • Curtis met the challenge, completing a $65 million campaign to fund the project.
  • Curtis received gifts from more than 60 donors in support of the challenge grant, including 100 percent participation from the Board of Trustees and a $15 million RACP grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Curtis is now raising funds to endow the building's operations.
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