Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

Outside view of the Hobby Lobby Center for the Performing Arts building

Cardno resolved many structural challenges for the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts complex, including using multiple structural systems to isolate sound and coordinating structural elements with theater equipment and other building systems.

The 270,000 sf Hobby Center for the Performing Arts houses two performance spaces — Sarofim Hall, a 2,650-seat venue in which no seat is farther than 128 feet from the stage, and Zilkha Hall, a 500-seat proscenium theater with natural acoustics.

The complex also includes an administration building, quarters for the Houston Music Hall Foundation, 3,800 square feet of rehearsal space, and 300-seat Artista restaurant.  

The building features a dynamically sloped standing seam metal roof with a gold soffit, french limestone, brick, and painted steel columns.

A glazed, 60-foot-high curtain wall provides views of downtown Houston’s skyline and Tranquillity Park. A terrace running the length of the Center offers an outside congregating area for theatergoers coming from the lobby, piano bar, and restaurant. A soaring covered walkway connects the main entrance plaza with a 7-level, 800-car parking garage. 

The project site’s adjacency to Buffalo Bayou also required special retention systems to assure stability during excavation and foundation construction.