2020 Viola Award Finalist for Excellence in Placemaking
In January 2019, Northern Arizona University (NAU) opened the Kitt Recital Hall. This site replaced the Ashurst Hall, an aging facility used for a century which did not provide the optimal structures for musical performances. In contrast, the newly constructed Kitt Recital Hall has been designed with providing the best possible sound for musical performance possible. The new building was named for longtime local philanthropists Michael and Karen Kitt.
From the AZ Daily Sun, “…The new space does not just account for sound, it fully integrates its movement and manipulation into the structure itself. The room is an assortment of various reflective and absorptive materials from wooden sawtooth panels to overhead “sound clouds” and curtains in order to improve the quality and experience of sound throughout the space.
“The configuration of the wood is designed to send the sound all around the room, creating a giant matrix of sound waves,” he [Todd Sullivan, director of the NAU School of Music] said. “This hall will move sound in complex and rich ways.”
The Kitt Recital Hall was the winner of three of ENR Southwest’s 2019 Best Projects Awards: Best Cultural/Worship, Award of Merit for Excellence in Safety, and Project of the Year, which qualifies the hall for the 55th ENR Annual Award of Excellence: Best of Best Projects [a national award to be announced in March 2020].