The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts in Lubbock, Texas—the late musician’s hometown—will start construction this fall. According to Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects, the firm behind the project, the facility will be a “catalyst for downtown revitalization in the hometown of the pop star whose brief career influenced and inspired generations.”

Speaking to The Architect’s Newspaper, project architect Matthew Leila said the project “has the chance to change the perception of Lubbock.” He and the firm believe Lubbock has been “starving” for “something to house the growing artistic community, that functions for all its constituent roots.” Diamond Schmitt’s performance center will offer a 2,200 seat auditorium, a ballet center, multipurpose event space, and a bistro. A decommissioned telecommunications tower, which rises to 200 feet, will visually broadcast the building’s location with what Leila calls a “squiggle” of a neon-blue light. “It can be read for miles that this is an artistic place,” said Leila. “We were struck by how singular energetic moments—like a canyon, for example—succeed the desert landscape.”

Introducing Buddy Holly Hall from Michelle Stephens on Vimeo.

The triple-height lobby will feature a grand spiraling staircase, though Leila dismissed any links between the stairs and its luminous counterpart outside. Instead, he explained that the staircase will add drama to the interior and emphasize the building’s role as a performance space. The lobby stretches across the site; a glass facade spans the south side letting in generous amounts of daylight. The facade is also equipped with an array of shading devices to combat excessive solar gain during the summer. The auditorium volume will be clad with brick on the lower levels and metal paneling—which will  reflect the sky—on its upper section.

Construction on the project is set to start this fall with costs expected to total $146 million. Parkhill Smith & Cooper will also contribute to the project as landscape architects. The center joins a list of 35 performance centers in Diamond Schmitt’s portfolio which includes their collaboration with Thomas Heatherwick to reimagine the David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York.

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