South Side Bee Branch Auditorium

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About This Project

Southside Bee Branch School District was in need of a multi-function facility that could house their music department and give them a 900-seat performance hall. The target budget for this assignment was set at $4 million. Three strategies were used to keep the project in budget while maintaining an exciting and engaging design for the school’s campus.


The first strategy was to use a simplified structural system. The building is essentially a large box with two secondary boxes added to the west and north sides. The design team chose to use a pre-engineered metal building system which allows for the required wide, open space, and allows an economy of trades by including the insulation, the wall and roof panels. Those features helped to keep the cost of construction down.


To mitigate a uniform metal panel façade typical of most pre-engineered buildings, the design team chose five standard vertical metal panel colors and alternated them in a rhythmic pattern across the public face of the building. By staying in the standard manufacturer’s color palette, the cost of the metal building system remained in budget while making the building vibrant and attractive. Those color selections were then repeated inside the building on acoustic accent walls and window tint details.


A third strategy was to focus material intent. The front lobby piece was designated to be the jewel of the building, so the higher quality materials were relegated to that space. This provides the most visual impact upon entering the facility. The colored glazing of the west wall was used to liven the lobby space and visually tie-in to the exterior metal panels.


The outcome of the design strategies that were implemented was a building that is not only functional and aesthetically engaging, but also in budget.