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Marlboro Music Reich Hall Wins National AIA Architecture Award

MARLBORO, VT — HGA has won the 2023 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architecture Award for the Marlboro Music Reich Hall Rehearsal Building & Music Library on a music campus in Vermont. The national award recognizes outstanding contemporary architecture and the “many ways buildings and spaces can improve our lives,” according to the awards program.

The award is a capstone to an artistically successful partnership that the HGA design team, led by Joan M. Soranno, FAIA, and John Cook, FAIA, has shared with Marlboro Music over the years, previously collaborating on five cottages for visiting musicians in 2014 and a residence hall for students in 2020.

“Reich Hall’s architecture embodies the intrinsic link between music and space,” Soranno said. “The celebration of music, creativity, and community that happens across campus and in and around these new buildings is a joy to experience. We are grateful to our client for providing the opportunity to collaborate with them on this beautiful campus.”

Design Influence
Every summer since 1951, classical musicians have gathered for a seven-week festival focused on creative collaboration on this campus that once included a small college. Soranno and Cook drew their design inspiration from the dwellings of 17th-century English settlers and simple Cape Cods, here reinterpreted in the previously completed five cottages and student residence hall.

In approaching the design of Reich Hall, HGA’s integrated team of architects, engineers, interior, lighting, and landscape designers worked collaboratively to continue this aesthetic with an acoustically sophisticated environment for festival musical rehearsals, a music library, offices, and gathering spaces.

Gabled forms set the template, with the building’s small footprint, sloped roofs, compact volumes, and local materials reinforcing Marlboro Music’s place within the rolling hills and streams of the Green Mountains. The building itself is nestled into the hillside, with the second floor relating to the upper campus and the first floor aligning with the lower campus.

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Inside, the lobby’s low ceiling allows the full volumes of the library and rehearsal rooms to soar. Rippling wood grain and knots of varied sizes coalesce with locally sourced white pine slats to support an acoustically “dry” space, in which musicians can hear their instruments and voices with no ambient interruptions.

Reich Hall also integrates several sustainable design initiatives, hidden within the architecture to spotlight the building’s beauty and the surrounding landscape. Features include LED lighting, a passive solar gains strategy, a green roof, operable windows that provide natural ventilation, and native plantings. Additionally, an energy-efficient geothermal well field provides chilled and hot water through a radiant floor and fan coil system.

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