Loyola Academy - Interior

McGrath Family Performing Arts Center wins Best of Block

Photography: Steve Hall / Hall + Merrick + McCaugherty

We are honored that The McGrath Family Performing Arts Center won Best of Block from the Masonry Advisory Council. The Excellence in Masonry Architectural Awards program recognizes architectural design excellence and the talent behind the execution.

The Leemputte Family Theater is a pivotal piece in the Jesuit education at Loyola Academy in Wilmette. More than just a theater, it is a home for the Arts, a previously under-represented piece to their educational foundation. It was designed through a collaborative process with the goal of strengthening every student’s relationship to the Arts.

The block is designed as part of a system of parts working together in service of the young and developing voices of the students. Ground-face CMU was used as the single interior material of the theater shell, providing durability and longevity by minimizing maintenance requirements. The softly curved CMU shell is created from a field of block, each rotating unique to its; spatial coordinates to create a framework for dispersing sound within the theater without the need for additional applied materials. Acoustical models, mock-ups and field coordination helped the team achieve the best design and construction of this unique wall.

Block Rotation

We dedicate this award to our client, Loyola Academy, and our collaborators who contributed to the success of the block:

International Masonry Institute (host of pre-construction mock-ups)
Midwest Masonry (Masonry Contractor)
Northfield Block (Masonry Provider & Award Submitter)
Schuler Shook (Theatre Design)
Threshold Acoustics (Acoustics and A/V Design)
Thornton Tomasetti (Structural Engineering)
Valenti Builders (General Contractor)

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