University of North Texas

Murchison Performing Arts Center


University of North Texas’ (UNT) performing arts center is the newest element on a sprawling campus just north of Fort Worth. With its shiny domed roof visible from the highway, the center becomes a gateway to the university. Architectural Record critic David Dillon calls it “a piece of intricate modern music.”

FDA worked closely with the architect and acoustician on both the concert hall and small theatre. The 1,100-seat Margot and Bill Winspear Performance Hall is a room with an intimate feel and superb acoustics for music and a stage which can accommodate ensembles of up to 200. The Lyric Theatre is a 400-seat experimental space that allows almost limitless configurations. Usable floor space measures 50 feet by 90 feet by 40 feet high. Seats on the ground floor can be moved into any part of the house; the stage can be on the north or south wall, or in the center of the room.

FDA helped to plan and design storage, costume design, and dressing rooms on the lower level. A large multilevel lobby, a separate rehearsal hall and a recording studio are part of a generous program that includes student concerts, guest artists, musical theater, opera, and special events. About 1,400 students annually study music at the University.

  • Client: University of North Texas at Denton
  • Architect: Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates
  • Completion Year: 1999
  • Location: Denton, Texas
  • Acoustician: Jaffe Holden Acoustics
  • Building Size: 72,500 s.f.

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