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Issue Date: November 2007

High Glass Venue

Lisa Wakeland

By the Numbers

4: Years to complete the project — two in design and documentation, two in construction

40: Number of double panes of glass behind the stage to reflect sound

43 feet: Height of the glass wall behind the stage

85 to 90 decibels:
Average orchestra concert; a symphonic peak reaches more than 100 dB.

110 decibels: Average rock concert; peak can reach 120 dB close to the speakers.

250: Number of seats in the venue

330: Approximate number of wood panels to absorb sound in the hall.

If architecture is music frozen in space, as architect Charles Young says, then Cleveland Institute of Music’s new Mixon Hall is an elegant concerto.

The concert hall’s giant glass wall takes center stage, but the entire performance hall shines with modern beauty. Designed primarly for small ensembles, chamber music and solo performances, the goal, Young says, was to create a space that rises to the caliber of the conservatory’s students. 

“You want to create a serene environment,” he says. “This is a space where you feel the sound coming to life.”
Acoustician Paul Scarbrough, the principal designer for renovations at Severance Hall and New York’s Kennedy Center, collaborated with Young on the project. 

“It’s important to make sure you allow all the frequencies in a music spectrum to be transmitted in a balanced fashion,” he says.
A dedication ceremony for Mixon Hall, part of CIM’s $40 million renovation and expansion, will be held Sunday, Nov. 11 from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

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