Brunswick, Maine


Studzinski Recital Hall at Bowdoin College transforms a historic McKim, Mead and White swimming pool into a 287-seat recital hall. A large acoustic volume was carved out of the existing structure, and into that volume now stands an intimate oval-shaped vessel for music. The bold, curved geometry of the music hall provides a stark contrast to the former shoebox shape of the existing building. A design vocabulary of taut, minimalist surfaces, and warm, natural materials enwraps the acoustic quality of the space.

Wood paneling embraces the audience and performer in a singular space. These forms organize audience seating along the sides of the room, surrounding the stage and uniting the audience and performer in a vibrant community of music.

An especially innovative element of the recital hall is the freestanding pylons, clad in brass mesh, that allow sound to pass through to the massive brick exterior walls, maintaining the acoustical depth of the hall. Each pylon contains an inner space that conceals an adjustable acoustical curtain that can be raised or lowered to cater the hall to different music programs.

While the project involves a radical renovation of the interior, a light-touch approach was taken toward the restoration of the building’s exterior. The transformation brings new life to this long dormant campus landmark, and preserves the college’s extraordinary collection of McKim, Mead and White buildings.


Bowdoin College
Barry Mills, President
Catherine Longley, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer
Donald Borkowski, Director of Capital Projects
Gregory Hogan, Senior Capital Projects Manager

William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.
10 Post Office Square, Suite 1010
Boston, MA 02109 
Tel. 617.423.3470
Fax 617.451.9205

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
William L. Rawn, FAIA, Principal for Design

Clifford V. Gayley AIA, Associate Principal for Design

Kevin Bergeron AIA, Associate - Project Manager and Project Architect

Alan Joslin, AIA, Co-Principal – Schematic Design

Project team:
Rupinder Singh
Victor Liu
Paul Governor
Rachel Gealy
Rob Wear, RA
Euiseok Jeong
Chris Aubin
Jose Soliva
Matt Stymiest
Matthew Cohen

Architect of record

William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.

Interior designer

Lab [3.2] Architecture
Bruce Danzer, AIA

LeMessurier Consultants, Inc.;

Harriman Associates

TMP Consulting Engineers, Inc.;

Landscape: Carol R. Johnson Associates;

Geothermal:  Water Energy Distributors, Inc.;

Lighting:   Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design;

Acoustical:  Kirkegaard Associates, Inc.;
Lawrence Kirkegaard, Joseph Myers

Theater:  Theatre Projects Consultants;
Benton Delinger

Accessibility Consulting: Kessler McGuinness & Associates

General contractor:
H.P. Cummings Construction Co., Inc.
19 Greenwood Park
Winthrop, ME 04364
PH: 207.377.2232

Photo © Robert Benson Photography
PH: 860.951.3004

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Auto CAD





Structural system: Existing masonry exterior bearing walls and roof trusses were maintained while a new internal steel frame and concrete/ metal deck floor slab was inserted within.

Exterior cladding:
Masonry: Existing exterior wall
Areas of new brick to match existing; Morin Brick Company (

Metal/glass curtainwall: Anodized aluminum curtainwall system by Tubelite ( with Pilkington Energy Advantage low-E glass; subcontractor: AD+W Architectural Doors & Windows(

Roofing subcontractor: Hahnel Bros. Co. (

Built-up roofing: Firestone EPDM (

Metal: New acoustical roof over existing – standing seam copper; copper by Revere Copper Products, Inc.(

Wood: existing windows were reconstructed with interior storms; insulated and laminated interior storms at Recital Hall; insulated interior storms elsewhere in building

Aluminum: new windows by Tubelite (

Entrances: All-glass entry vestibule; subcontractor: AD+W Architectural Doors and Windows (

Metal doors: Curries (

Wood doors: Marshfield Doorsystems, Inc. (

Special doors (sound control, X-ray, etc.): sound control doors by Overly Door Company (

Locksets: Sargent (

Hinges: Hager (; Rixson (; McKinney (

Closers: LCN (

Exit devices: Von Duprin (

Pulls: Rockwood (

Security devices: Kaba (; Locknetics (

Interior finishes:
Acoustical ceilings: Armstrong Optima + Dune ( Design Acoustics; Products: Environmental Interiors – perforated metal in Recital Hall; Hunter Douglass perforated metal in lobby.

Suspension grid: Armstrong (

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Windham Millwork (


Paints and stains: Sherwin Williams (

Paneling: White Birch Paneling by Windham Millwork (

Floor and wall tile (cite where used): Restrooms; Daltile (

Resilient flooring: Armstrong-Vinyl Composition Tile (

Carpet: Durkan (

Countertops:  Dupont Corian (

Office furniture:
Reception furniture: Lobby benches:“Palette” Bench by Davis (

Fixed seating: Fixed chairs at Recital Hall: Irwin seating (

Chairs: Loose Chairs at Recital Hall: “Timberlane” by National (

Upholstery: chair upholstery by Maharam (

Other furniture (use additional sheet if necessary): automated window shades by Mechoshades (

Interior ambient lighting: Lightolier (;
Selux(; Eureka (

Downlights: Lightolier (

Exterior: Bega (

Controls: Lutron (

Performance: ETC (

Accent:  Lightolier (; Edison Price (

Otis Elevator Co. (

Water Fountains: Halsey Taylor (

Plumbing Fixtures: American Standard (www.american

Valves: Sloan (

Seats: Bemis (

Shower heads: Symmons (

Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project:
Brass Mesh Pylons concealing Adjustable Acoustics:

Bronze Metal Mesh by Cambridge Architectural (

Adjustable Acoustic Drapery by KM Fabrics (

Acoustically Transparent Scrim Fabric by Acoustone (

A/V System and Performance Lighting: subcontractor – High Output (

Adjustable Acoustics in Recital Hall: subcontractor – Pook Diemont & Ohl (

A geothermal system provides the building’s heating and cooling.