LMN Architects

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

Home of the Seattle Opera & Pacific Northwest Ballet

/ Work / Marion Oliver McCaw Hall / .


The design of this major renovation expresses the classic forms of theater, re-interpreted in a contemporary architectural medium. An array of scrims and a 5-story glass wall define the new lobby with compositions of multi-colored light to cast a series of visual events—inviting the entire community to participate.


The experience continues into the lobby through a progression of space defined by overlapping curvilinear shapes and interactive modulation of light. The metal scrims visually interweave interior and exterior space and frame a grand stair that rises four stories within the lobby. Moving into the auditorium, materiality and color become progressively deeper in hue, cumulating at the proscenium—and the performance it frames.

Working from the structure of an existing concert hall, sightlines were dramatically improved by narrowing the audience chamber. New side-wall boxes were added as well as a pair of seating “wings” which sweep up from the orchestra level and engage an extended first tier balcony. The perforated volume captured at this side-wall condition, washed in deep glow of red light, forms both an acoustic reverberation chamber and audience circulation zone, creating a luminous, dramatic expression as part of the performance prelude.


Seattle, Washington


Completed 2003


280,000 sf; 2,900-seat hall



801 Second Avenue, Suite 501
Seattle, Washington 98104

T 206 682 3460
F 206 343 9388
Developed by Keolo Keagy for 64North

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