Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
Located on Lake Ontario, the 19th century Morton Brewery site has been reconceived as “The Isabel” uniting a diverse range of disciplines: a concert hall, rehearsal rooms, classrooms, and labs for the school of music, drama, art, film and media.
The heart of The Isabel is the 566 seat concert hall. Its wooden aesthetic referencing the layers of Kingston limestone. The acoustics are based on the historic “jewel box” concert halls of Europe refined through 3-D acoustic modeling.
The stainless steel façade was inspired by the water and the monochromatic white/greys of the winter skies. New dark grey wood siding on the repurposed historic structures recalls the weathered wooden additions added as the brewery expanded. A green court ties The Isabel with the neighboring Tett Centre, providing an open, framed view of lake.
Large quantities of the wood structure from the historic buildings was repurposed into interior finishes, as was local limestone used for repairs and new finishes.
Bringing the “Arts” departments under one roof allowed for collaboration/sharing of space and equipment. Queen’s believes that this innovative environment will attract students to their curriculum, while the Concert Hall will attract world class artists. The iconic centre will help to shape the identity of the institution and the region, promoting the Arts and Humanities.