Location: Eugene, OR
Design: Hacker Architects
Species: White Oak
Located on the University of Oregon campus, adjacent to the University’s School of Music and Dance, Berwick Hall was created to be the permanent home of the Oregon Bach Festival. The 10,000 sq. ft., two-story building, provides space for the Festival’s many program rehearsals, recitals, lectures, and receptions. The building was designed by Portland based Hacker Architects to be an instrument itself. Their goal was to “…enhance the musical experience of performers and audiences alike.” Both material and design were carefully crafted with this goal in mind. One of the focal points of Berwick hall is the 2,000 sq. ft. rehearsal room. The white oak paneling for the floors and walls were provided by Castle Bespoke. They designed every aspect of the room to foster a smooth, rich sound.
The walls are distinctively curved to mimic an instrument and direct sound upwards. This not only keeps the sound from building to uncomfortable levels but also allows for a moderately long reverberation time. The materials were carefully selected to enhance the acoustics. Over 3,000 sq. ft. of chateau grade white oak plank was supplied and hand oiled by Castle Bespoke. Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus 2C was used to finish the paneling because of the oil’s penetrating molecular bonding formula. This thin yet durable coating allows the room to both absorb sound while still complimenting the instruments.
Berwick Hall is a stunning intersection of architecture and music that the Oregon Bach Festival can call home for many years to come.