#2. Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

Core project cost: $125 million

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall features a curving glass lobby with an adjacent outdoor courtyard.
Rendering by LMN Architects

Project address:
200 Mercer St., Seattle

Start of construction: June 2001 (for repairs to Mercer Arts Arena that is part of the overall contract)
January 2002 (Marion Oliver McCaw Hall)

Expected completion date:
Summer 2003

City of Seattle

Renovation of the 74-year-old Seattle Center Opera House through public and private financing. Public sources will fund $55 million while private gifts will total $70 million.

The design objective was to create a hall that engages the entire community while honoring the patrons and performers it serves. Public spaces will be defined by a serpentine outer lobby that shimmers with colored lights projected onto a series of sheer metal curtain scrims.

The reworked 2,890-seat auditorium will preserve the building's renowned acoustics while narrowing the walls to improve sightlines and create a more intimate relationship between performer and patron.

Mechanical improvements will include new heating and cooling, stage, theatrical, backstage and fly loft systems. Complete seismic and life-safety upgrades are also planned.

Amenities include a 12,000-square-foot grand lobby, 388-seat lecture hall, cafe, concessions, double the number of women's restrooms, faster elevators with more capacity, and an enlarged side stage with storage, warm-up and staging areas.

Outdoors, a plaza will include seating along with water and landscape features.

It was decided that the Opera House should be renovated because of its superior acoustics and the cost savings over building a new performance hall. The renovated hall will be named after Marion Oliver McCaw Garrison, a longtime supporter of the arts and opera enthusiast.

While construction is performed over the next two years, Mercer Arts Arena will serve as a temporary venue for the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Opera. Upgrades to that facility started last June and were finished in December. It took about $4.5 million to convert the old hockey arena into a performing arts venue with stage, orchestra pit, and new mechanical and electrical systems.


GC/CM contractor:
Baugh Construction, 900 Poplar Place S., Seattle, WA 98114, (206) 726-8000

LMN Architects, 801 Second Ave., Suite 501, Seattle, WA 98104, (206) 682-3460

Other Participants
AKB Engineers
D.W. Close Co.
Encompass/MacDonald Miller
Gustafson Partners Ltd.
Jaffe Holden Acoustics Inc.
Schuler & Shook
Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire
Sussman Prejza & Co. Inc.
Walters & Wolf Curtain Wall

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