Chicago Symphony Center, Orchestra Hall

Photo Credit: Todd Rosenberg

After a programming and technical analysis of the existing facility by FDA, SOM, and Kirkegaard & Associates, the Chicago Symphony asked for a major renovation and expansion of public and front- and back-of-house spaces in the historic landmark designed by renowned Chicago architect Daniel Burnham. The project addressed space deficiencies, poor sightlines, and code requirements and took four years to complete.

Along with designing a major stage expansion for the orchestra, improving acoustics, and increasing patron seating comfort, FDA replaced the stage rigging, concert lighting, and sound equipment with new, state-of-the-art systems. Approximately $2.25M in equipment was designed and specified. Below-grade, artistic support facilities were reconfigured to provide adequately sized dressing facilities for the orchestra, expansive storage for instruments and equipment, and flexible space for visiting orchestras and ensembles. A new addition constructed to the west provides a much-needed rehearsal hall and added backstage space.

  • Client: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Architect: SOM Architects
  • Arch. of Record: Daniel Burnham (Original Architect 1904)
  • Completion Year: 1997
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Acoustician: Kirkegaard & Associates
  • Building Size: 350,000 s.f.
  • Capacity: 2,522 seats


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