Ontario's 'Isabel Bader Centre' Among USITT's 2017 Architecture Award Winners

USITT’s 2017 Architecture Awards feature three top honor award winners this year: Maltz Performing Arts Center at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH; The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON; and Writers Theatre in Glencoe, IL.

**The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University**The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University

The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s University, designed by Snøhetta at a total cost of $72 M, is a catalyst for the arts at the University. An 80,000 square-foot building unites a diverse range of the University’s performance and creative art disciplines under a single roof. With a 566-seat performance hall, classrooms, rehearsal and performance spaces, the Isabel provides a supportive learning environment for young artists and performers to grow in their discipline.

The Maltz Performing Arts CenterThe Maltz Performing Arts Center

The Maltz Performing Arts Center, designed by MGA Partners Architects is a nationally registered historic synagogue in Cleveland, Ohio at the performing arts center for Case Western Reserve University. The renovations included the addition of an acoustic canopy, theatrical lighting, a stage and piano lift, acoustic wall panels, as well as restored seating and interior finishes. In addition, a chapel in the rear of the building was converted into a recital hall, and support spaces such as a green room and control rooms were added.

[![Photo credit: Steve Hall](/content/images/2017/01/Writers-Theatre.-Photo-credit-Steve-Hall.jpg)](/content/images/2017/01/Writers-Theatre.-Photo-credit-Steve-Hall.jpg)Photo credit: Steve Hall
**Writers Theatre**

Writers Theatre designed by Studio Gang Architects increased capacity while maintaining its trademark intimacy and the close audience-performer connection found in their original smaller spaces. The design team realized this goal by working collaboratively to create new, technologically advanced performance spaces that are still reminiscent of the theater’s former venues. While the size of each venue was effectively doubled, they remain as intimate and immersive as Writers’ original spaces.

Receiving architectural merit awards will be:

  • Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Bicknell Family Center for the Arts at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas
  • Chapman University Musco Center for the Arts in Orange California
  • Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia
  • Mount Royal University Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts in Calgary, Alberta Canada

The Architecture Commission will present the awards at the Annual Conference & Stage Expo Friday March 10, 2017, 5:30pm-8:30pm in St. Louis. The Conference also will offer multiple architecture sessions, several for AIA/CES credit.

USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, is a national non-profit association for the live entertainment production industry. It provides hands-on learning, mentorship, and networking opportunities for emerging and working professionals in the backstage arts. Its Annual Conference and Stage Expo is the only complete production event in North America, featuring over 250 training sessions and 280 exhibitors of the latest tools and resources for creating live entertainment. More information is available at

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound, and Professional Lighting & Production magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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