Rhoads Siegel Architects


Rubendall Recital Hall

Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA


This project is the dramatic remodel of an existing 250-seat recital hall located in Dickinson College’s century old structure, Weiss Center for the Arts. The challenge was to significantly upgrade the music department’s home into both a beautiful and acoustically outstanding concert hall and to do that on a modest budget, fast paced schedule and with the use of sustainable materials. The existing hall was completely gutted. Improvements include soundproof walls, a raised ceiling, new seating, improved sound system and sound booth, new lighting, a ceiling-mounted data projector and the addition of windows. A distinctive design feature of the renovated hall is the use of a variety of custom acoustical panels throughout the space. Side panels at the audience section reveal an abstract relief of an aerial view of Dickinson campus, while panels above the stage feature an abstraction of musical notes. Other special design features include a fabric ceiling, stained concrete floors and a flexible wood slat stage wall that can be configured for an intimate performance such as a solo pianist but also has the ability to showcase a full orchestra. A backlit glass wall and stainless steel doors transform the entrance to the new recital hall.