Joslyn Art Museum

A major new wing to a bedrock cultural institution in Omaha

Omaha, Nebraska  |  Museum  |  1994  |  with XXXXXXX

Sir Norman Foster along with HDR Architects were engaged to refurbish and expand the Joslyn Art Museum. The team's charge included fixing some serious acoustical shortcomings of the original museum's Witherspoon Concert Hall along with creating an entirely new wing to the north of the original structure.  Robert F Mahoney & Associates was retained to address the acoustical needs of both these important spaces.  The concert hall was clad in marble and plaster and a significant challenge: how to save the architectural character of these beautiful but unfortunately arranged surfaces while allowing the space to host serious musical events.  The solution proved to be a combination of movable and removable elements within the existing framework that would read as set pieces or clearly modern interventions placed in front of and separate from the original room boundaries.  In the new addition the architect's preferences for tall, uncluttered spaces finished in similarly hard materials (stone, glass, etc.) called for a similar, yet distinctly modern vocabulary of acoustical finishes.