Rehearsal Studio and Music Library Marlboro, Vermont architecture development, United States Arts project images

Rehearsal Studio and Music Library in Vermont

July 8, 2023

Architecture: HGA

Location: Marlboro, Vermont, USA

Rehearsal Studio and Music Library Marlboro Vermont

Photos: Albert Vecerka

Rehearsal Studio and Music Library, United States

HGA Designs Award-Winning Rehearsal Studio and Music Library at Marlboro Music

Rehearsal Studio and Music Library Marlboro

The Marlboro Music Reich Rehearsal Building & Music Library, designed by acclaimed architecture and engineering firm HGA, has been selected for several awards, including the 2023 AIA Architecture Award, the AIA Minnesota Honor Award, an ARCHITECT Magazine Architecture and Interior Design Award, and an Architizer A+ Jury Award.

Rehearsal Studio and Music Library Marlboro Vermont

Since 1951, generations of the world’s most talented classical musicians have come together to participate in Marlboro Music, a non-profit, seven-week summer festival where young musicians collaborate alongside renowned artists in an environment removed from the pressures of performance. Each season, the music festival takes over the Potash Hill campus in the foothills of Vermont’s Green Mountains. The New Yorker magazine calls Marlboro Music “the classical world’s most coveted retreat”, and participants have included such celebrated musicians as cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Pablo Casals, and violinist Joshua Bell. Marlboro Music is located on the beautiful Potash Hill campus in the town of Marlboro.

Marlboro Music USA

Marlboro Music USA

Over the years, the campus’ aging farm buildings became less than ideal for music rehearsal and archival needs. Marlboro Music called on HGA to provide the festival participants, staff, and attendees with a transformational project that best serves the needs of 21st-century musicians and the music itself. Their design of the new Jerome & Celia Bertin Reich Rehearsal Building & Music Library (Reich Hall) stays true to the spirit of Marlboro and the simple, country ethos of Southern Vermont, while providing much-needed modern rehearsal spaces, a music library, administrative offices, common areas, and more.

Rehearsal Studio and Music Library Marlboro Vermont

Marlboro, along with HGA’s award-winning designer, Joan Soranno, had a proven working relationship, previously collaborating on five cottages for visiting senior musicians and a residence hall for students. Co-led by her partner, John Cook, the design team worked closely with several key stakeholders at Marlboro Music and Marlboro College (which owned the property at that time) to identify key goals for the project, the uppermost being sustainability and the integration of spaces into the surrounding campus vernacular, forest, and mountains. Musicians were also involved in the process, including world-renowned pianists Mitsuko Uchida and Jonathan Biss, who are co-artistic directors of the Marlboro Music Festival.

The design for Reich Hall was inspired by a Cape Cod cottage. Born of necessity, with an aesthetic of restraint, this simple gabled form is closely tied to Marlboro’s identity and served as the project’s design template. The building’s small footprint, sloped roofs, compact volumes, and local materials reinforce Marlboro Music’s place within the lush rolling hills and streams of the Green Mountains. The building itself is nestled into the hillside, with the second floor relating to the upper campus, and the first floor aligning with the lower campus.

Rehearsal Studio and Music Library Marlboro

A fundamental philosophy at Marlboro is for musicians and their families to work and play together. Because Marlboro is a summer festival, designers created a green roof and courtyard to bring musicians and their families together for events, celebrations, and casual interactions.

Rehearsal Studio and Music Library Marlboro USA

Marlboro is home to one of the world’s largest collections of chamber music — over 10,000 scores — and required a library to help archive and preserve these works, and to provide a room for study and browsing. The new Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation Library includes archive storage, seminar seating for researchers, musicians, and students, and flexible work areas for two librarians. Climate control, fire protection, lighting, and security were all critical considerations when designing this space.

Rehearsal Studio and Music Library Marlboro USA

Reich Hall also integrates several sustainable design initiatives, discreetly hidden within the architecture to spotlight the building’s beauty and the surrounding landscape. Features include LED lighting, a passive solar gains strategy, a green roof, operable windows that provide natural ventilation, and native plantings. Additionally, an energy-efficient geothermal well field provides chilled and hot water through a radiant floor and fan coil system.

Rehearsal Studio and Music Library Marlboro

With the completion of Reich Hall, Marlboro has world-class rehearsal spaces to host the immense talent that visits the campus each year. For five weeks each summer, Marlboro offers concerts for the public. Concert-goers experience performances by well-known, established musicians in tandem with young artists just embarking on their careers, continuing Marlboro Music’s egalitarian spirit and legacy.

Rehearsal Studio and Music Library Marlboro USA

Rehearsal Studio and Music Library in Marlboro, Vermont – Building Information

Architects: HGA –
Location: Marlboro, Vermont
Completion Year: 2021
Client: Marlboro Music
Architects: Joan Soranno, FAIA; John Cook, FAIA
Design Team: HGA
Interior Design: HGA
Engineering: Structural, Mechanical, and Electrical: HGA
Landscape Architecture: HGA
Lighting: HGA

Contractor: Courtlan Construction
Civil Engineering: CHA Consulting, Inc.
Acoustics: Kvernstoen, Rönnholm & Associates, Inc.
Historical Consultant: Vermont Property Preservation Consultants

Marlboro Music USA

About HGA
Celebrating 70 years, HGA is an acclaimed national interdisciplinary design firm committed to making a positive, lasting impact for its clients and communities through research-based, holistic solutions. The firm believes that great design requires a sense of curiosity—forming deep insight into their clients, their contexts, and the human condition. HGA is a collective of over 1,000 architects, engineers, interior designers, planners, researchers, and strategists. Their practice spans multiple markets, including corporate, cultural, education, local and federal government, healthcare, and science and technology.

Marlboro Music USA

Photographer: Albert Vecerka

Rehearsal Studio and Music Library, Marlboro, Vermont images / information received 080723

Location: Vermont, USA

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