Tobin Center for the Performing Arts – Intro

Since 2009, LMN has been working on the design of the 1,750 seat Tobin Center for the Performing Arts (previously San Antonio’s Municipal Auditorium), which is currently under construction.  In the coming weeks we’ll be publishing a series of posts unpacking some of the pieces of the project that LMNts was involved in, similar to our posts on the Cleveland Medical Mart (intro, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Alright, now for some context…

Nearly 100 years ago when San Antonio’s Municipal Auditorium was first built, it was among the city’s first major civic structures.  Over the last century, the city has experienced a significant evolution – both in terms of urban development and the cultural arts. The city recognized the need to respond to that evolution with a new performing arts center that is evocative of its new urban condition and community significance.






The city’s goals for the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts is to create a world-class home for the major performing arts organizations of San Antonio, and establishes the center as a vital part of the cultural life of San Antonio, Bexar County and all of South Texas.  The design integrates two new performance spaces with portions of the historic Municipal Auditorium to create a new center serving the symphony, opera, ballet and a rich diversity of theatrical programs.






A design concept was to create moments in the building that reflected the patterns and spectacle that can be found throughout the city, the riverwalk, festivals and regional culture.  Of particular interest was how these patterns could be made more dynamic through the use of lighting, either natural or artificial.  Our future posts will focus on the Veil (shown above) which forms the exterior cladding of LMN’s addition, and the North Wall that serves as the theater’s face to the lobby (shown below on the left).

Parts of the posts will build off of ideas and processes we developed while working on the Cleveland Medical Mart. However, we plan on sharing our experiences with a few new problems that we’d hadn’t dealt with before such as management of a very large number of components (18,000+ in the Veil) and the rationalization of a doubly curved surface. More to come…

Related Posts

TCPA Modeling of the Veil

TCPA Feature Wall Panel Layout

Fabrication of Model base