Instructor: Eric Howeler
An opera house in Boston
Core IV | Fall 2017

Three local musical institutions merge and demand a new building. The Boston Lyric Opera, the Berklee College of Music, and the Boston Conservatory share a site in Boston’s Back Bay, spanning over the Massachusetts Pike in an Air Rights Development Parcel.

The project draws from Berklee’s history as a school of jazz, speculating on how the methods of improvisation might inform an architecture, an opera, a campus, and a social space. The scheme imagines a spatial framework through which the improvisational nature of the street permeates the theater, and the opera’s sensitivity to framing, performance, and spectacle can be infused into the public realm.

The proposal takes the form of a monolithic pinwheel, simultaneously retreating from while reaching out to the city at select moments. The lower legs connect to the street life of the neighborhood, providing access to the interior through large portals. The upper arms reach into the air, projecting images of use into the city while framing select views of the context. The overall expression is heavy and opaque, reacting to the acoustic, visual, and programmatic isolation required for performance, educational, and rehearsal spaces.