Jim Haefner
um dance building

From the 2022 Architectural Portfolio: University of Michigan, Dance Building

Jan. 30, 2023
Jurors awarded the project a Postsecondary Citation for its excellent design.

The first dedicated facility for the Department of Dance in University of Michigan’s history, the Dance Building on the Ann Arbor campus has a 100-seat performance venue, dance studios, locker rooms, and administrative space. The project balances structure, environment, and aesthetic. Accommodating a range of dance genres including screen dance, hip-hop, ballet, and jazz, the structure is flexible and quiet. Multiple rounds of programmatic modeling ensured efficiency of layout, massing, adjacency, audience movement, and performer comfort and accessibility. The highly responsive learning/teaching environments maintain noise separation, mechanical/electrical noise control, adaptive sound system design, natural spatial acoustical feedback, and spatial isolation to achieve optimal acoustics.

The building is prepped for the addition of solar panels sufficient to provide full electrical support for all but performance lighting. All lighting systems are LED, including the performance/theater lighting systems. Utility systems are extended from the adjacent School of Music Building to minimize site disruption, and to provide added energy efficiency. 

Read more about the University of Michigan Dance Building and view a photo gallery at SchoolDesigns.com.

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