Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, originally built in 1927, is now home to the Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet. It also provides a state-of-the-art venue for traveling shows and other cultural events.
The project include a 2,900-seat performance hall, a 400-seat lecture hall, dressing rooms, 6,000 ft2 of reception rooms, a commercial catering kitchen, a public café with seating for 200, 40,000 ft2 of reception space in the main lobbies, offices, and support shops.
Working with the overriding concept of blurring the lines between inside and outside, McCaw Hall's design team focused around three primary goals: renovating the 80-year-old performance venue; maximizing the energy performance of the large, glazed west entrance; and ensuring good indoor environmental quality in the auditorium.
The project team retained and reused about 30% of the existing building. The team also salvaged much of the existing building equipment and materials prior to demolition, and diverted more than 90% of the construction waste, by weight, from the landfill. New materials were selected for their recycled content, regional availability, and low chemical emissions. An air-quality management plan was implemented during construction, and the building was flushed prior to occupancy.
The building was designed to use 21% less energy than a comparable conventional building. Its energy-efficient features include an underfloor air-supply system in the auditorium; zoning for the balcony levels, allowing the owner to condition only those areas being used at a given time; blinds and operable windows in the west-facing lobbies; radiant floors; and efficient theatrical lighting. In addition, the building features a 6-kW, grid-connected demonstration photovoltaic array.