Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center
St. Louis, Missouri

This landmark building responds to the St. Louis area’s need for a mid-size performance facility. The center presents touring and resident artists and serves as a laboratory for the UMSL academic programs in dance, media studies, music, and theater. The 1,625-seat hall has the formal feel of a European opera house and is superb for the presentation of opera, symphony, theater, and dance. A smaller, flexible theater converts from flat floor to several configurations, seating up to 360. The design of the support spaces and building circulation allows each space to be used independently. Gene Leitermann was project manager for Theatre Projects Consultants.

Institution
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Design Architect
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

Executive Architect
Wischmeyer Architects (now Farnsworth Group)

Acoustician
Kirkegaard Associates

General Contractor
KCI Construction Company

Construction Type
New construction

Square Feet
123,000

Cost
$52 million

Completion
2003

Users
Touring productions
Regional performances
Arianna String Quartet
Modern American Dance Company
Department of Theatre, Dance, and Media Studies
Department of Music

Spaces
1,625-seat multipurpose theater
360-seat flexible theater

Photo: © Debbie Franke