UVU Noorda Center for The Performing Arts
Orem, Utah
Best Project and Project of The Year Finalist

Owner: Utah Valley University
Developer: Utah DFCM
Lead Design Firm: Method Studio
General Contractor: Layton Construction
Structural Engineer: Reaveley Engineers + Associates
Civil Engineer: Ensign Engineering and Land Surveying
MEP Engineer: Colvin Engineering Associates
Electrical Engineer: Spectrum Engineers
Theatrical & Acoustical Design: Arup
Subcontractors: AGEC; Boswell-Olsen; Goulder Acoustics; IMS Masonry; J&M Steel Solutions; Koh Mechanical; Millcreek Tile & Stone; Mountain States Steel; Mountain Valley Glass; Muddy Boys Inc.; Staker Parson; Stauffer Painting; Team Mechanical; WW Construction; Wall 2 Wall Commercial Flooring; Wasatch Electric

The Noorda Center, a cultural arts landmark for Utah Valley University and the greater Orem community, represents a $50-million investment in concert spaces, classrooms, practice rooms and performance-support areas. It houses an 890-seat concert hall, a 501-seat proscenium theater and a 150-seat dance venue. The new facility provides a world-class arts experience and education for students and is also the Utah County home of the Utah Symphony. It’s expected that more than 120 shows a year will be presented at the center, as the university partners with other community arts organizations to host performances.

The center’s design is intended to convey art, form, structure, creativity and movement. These elements are expressed through the gently curving glass facade and curved wood and metal canopy, as well as the placement of ceiling planes, metal wall panels and wood shrouds. The facility fosters collaboration and flow, with spaces for social interaction and clear sightlines that easily lead patrons from one performance space to another. The design also called for glass to be placed on the outside of the building, requiring an extra measure of waterproofing and sealant. The team performed several tests to ensure the facility will not experience water infiltration.

In building out the structure, materials and finishes required well-coordinated and meticulous installation to ensure acoustical precision. Components include an undulating, precast masonry wall in the concert hall that not only adds visual appeal but also helps with acoustics. The hall includes nine adjustable reflectors on a motorized, programable canopy-winch system that’s placed over the main stage, the first of its kind in Utah. The system provides excellent sound quality.

The skillful installation of these elements along with the intricate catwalk and technical support systems provide the center with performance flexibility for its many users.

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