March 17, 2017
A stunning concert hall set among the mountains near Palm Springs
In the small town of Idyllwild, California, is an architecturally impressive new performing arts center befitting the beauty of the valley in which it sits, in the shadow of Mount Jacinto, west of Palm Springs.
Completed in the fall of 2016, the William M. Lowman Concert Hall
is a 298-seat auditorium that serves as the heart of the campus of Idyllwild Arts, one of the country’s top music prep schools, from which students from around the world graduate to eventually perform in the nation’s major orchestras.
A Series 600 90-Degree Multi-Slide door opens the lobby to the outside.
Marina del Rey-based architect Whitney Sander
drew inspiration from the forests and mountains of the Idyllwild Valley to conceive a design that seems to reach for the sky. The rusted Cor-Ten panels that cover the exterior of the building pay homage to the jagged topography of folded rock and granite that constitute the nearby mountains. The idea for the irregular shapes of the panels was derived from an abstract musical phrase composed by electronic music artist Aphex Twin.
Beckoning visitors to the hall is a Western Window Systems Series 600 90-Degree Multi-Slide Door
, which serves as the east-facing main entrance to the building. When both sides of the door are opened away from each, effectively eliminating the connecting post, the lobby, with its soaring ceilings and dozens of hanging white globe lights, merges seamlessly with the massive front patio. Loads of natural light and fresh, breezy Idyllwild Valley air fill the bright, spacious lobby.
A seamless merging of the indoors to the outside.
Ringing the top of the 90-degree multi-slide door is a series of custom-sized Series 670 Fixed Casement Windows
. Similar windows, as well as some Western Window Systems hinged windows, appear elsewhere in the lobby and throughout the structure.
The interior of the auditorium is just as inspiring as the outside of the concert hall. An erratic pattern of 4-foot-by-8-foot wood ribs seems to crawl up the sides of the walls and arch over the seating the area. In effect, the wooden arches scatter the sound for a nearly perfect acoustical experience for both performer and audience member alike.
Loads of natural light and fresh Idyllwild Valley air floods the concert hall’s lobby.