Yue-Kong Pao Hall for Visual and Performing Arts
Scholer Corporation; Hammel, Green and Abrahamson
Project of Distinction Winner 2006 Education Design Showcase

Project Fact Sheet
Facility Use: College/University 4-Year Institution
Project Type: New Construction
Category: Performing Arts/Auditoriums/Music
Location: West Lafayette, IN
District/Inst.: Purdue University
   David L. Sigman Department Head
Completion Date: Spring 2006
Design Capacity: 3,236 students
Enrollment: 1,679 students
Gross Area: 165,105 sq.ft.
Space per pupil: 51 sq.ft.
Site size: 2 acres
Cost per student: $14,815
Cost per sq.ft.: $290.37
Total project cost: $47,942,700
Building construction cost: $36,544,700
Site development cost: $1,607,530
Furniture & equipment cost: $4,537,530
Fees and other: $5,253,190
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In the fall of 2003, Purdue University welcomed its Department of Visual and Performing Arts into a new home. Yue-Kong Pao Hall for Visual and Performing Arts marked the consolidation of all of the university's visual and performing arts facilities into one, multifunctional facility.

The $48 million, state-of-the-art facility is named after shipping magnate and philanthropist Yue-Kong Pao, who passed away in 1992. Pao Hall was designed to foster creative collaboration between students and staff throughout the multitude of disciplines within the department. Prior to the consolidation, visual and performing arts programs and classes were scattered across campus.

Architects created a strategically designed facility that places each discipline in close proximity with all other disciplines. This "cozy" environment naturally lends itself to increased interaction between students as well as between students and faculty. Art students showcase their talents in production shop classes where they design and create backdrops and stage props. Actors and actresses and dancers practice in cutting-edge studios just a few taps away from two of the finest production-oriented theatres higher education has to offer. Students interested in sound and acoustical engineering have at their disposal the very highest quality computer-managed classrooms and recording studios. There are even classrooms dedicated to lighting with regard to set design and production.

Highlights of Pao Hall include the Nancy T. Hansen Theatre and the Carole and Gordon Mallett Theatre.  Hansen Theatre replaces Purdue's Experimental Theatre and contains tiered seating for more than 300 patrons, with the back row located less than 50 feet from the stage.

Mallett Theatre provides a much more intimate environment with flexible seating for approximately 100 to 150 patrons. Mallett Theatre serves as both a performance venue and a classroom where aspiring actors, directors, set designers and production technologists can hone their skills prior to their debuts under the lights of the "big stage."

Adjacent to the two theatres is the Janice and Herbert A. Wilson Green Room, where performers can "hang out" prior to and during performances. In the Hixson Family Scene Shop and the Page Johnston Karling Costume Shop, students create all of the atmosphere necessary for Broadway-class productions.

In addition to the performing arts and related disciplines, there are several other art programs represented in Pao Hall. Photography, painting, sculpting, weaving and sketching are just a few of the offerings.

The design of the facility itself reflects the creativity fostered within. A concrete and steel frame supports the three-story, 165,105 square-foot structure. A curved brick face on the south end literally draws visitors into the main entrance. At opposite ends of the facility, three-story tall stairways enclosed by glass provide an open, welcoming invitation to students, faculty and the general public.


Project Description:
1) Control of Institution: Public
2) Type of Institution: Research University


Methodology & Standards:
State Mandated Standards

Funding Method(s):
Primary Source: Primary Source: State Appropriations; Primary Source: Private Funding

Project Delivery Method(s):

Sustainable/Green Design:


Associated Firms and Consultants:
Construction/Project Management: Hiromi Jone (University Project Manager)
General Contractor: H.G. Christman Construction/Shiel Sexton Company
Structural Engineer: Fink Roberts & Petrie, Inc.
Electrical Engineer: NOVA Engineering, PC
Acoustical Consultant: Jaffe Holden Acoustics
Theater Consultant: Auerhack Pollock Friedlander (Theatrical Sound)

Area Map:

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