The Desautels Concert Hall will be a state of the art performance venue that will enable the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Music to showcase a broad range of musical performances. As the final piece of the multi-phased Tache Arts Complex project, the 400 seat facility is carefully integrated into a tightly constrained, pre-existing context. To the North and West, the site is framed by the perpendicular wings of Tache Hall, an original campus building over 100 years old, recently renovated as part of the Arts Complex project. To the East, the Concert Hall will connect to the more recent Tache Center Block building, making use of existing mechanical spaces and an elevator core.
The orientation of the hall was governed by the need to construct an orchestra pit below grade while avoiding a major underground utility tunnel running diagonally across the site. With the overall size and shape of the hall largely driven by performance requirements and site constraints, the exterior design of the building grew from a desire to ameliorate shadow impacts, while simultaneously creating a formalized sequence of arrival befitting a concert hall. With the aim of bringing as much daylight as possible into the courtyard beyond, the northwest corner of the building was lowered and the resultant volume canted toward the south.