The Studzinki Recital Hall & Kanbar Auditorium project at Bowdoin College, completed in 2007, encompassed the remarkable transformation of a former swimming pool area into a captivating 282-seat recital hall. This ambitious endeavor involved a radical interior renovation, breathing new life into the space. The building’s exterior also received a meticulous “light touch” restoration, preserving its original charm.
Within the recital hall, careful attention was given to create a warm and inviting atmosphere with abundant natural light and stunning birch woodwork. The interior design aimed to provide an optimal setting for musical performances, resulting in a captivating space that beckons both artists and audiences.
The project included transforming a significant acoustic volume carved out of the existing structure, resulting in an intimate, oval-shaped “vessel for music.” This design modification ensures exceptional acoustics, accommodating a wide range of musical programs, including classical music, jazz, world and electronic music, and multimedia screenings.
The historical significance of the original McKim, Mead, and White building, constructed by H.P. Cummings Construction Company in 1927, was thoughtfully preserved throughout the transformation. The Studzinki Recital Hall & Kanbar Auditorium is a testament to the successful integration of history, architectural excellence, and contemporary functionality, providing a captivating venue for musical performances at Bowdoin College.
“This is an important and inspirational achievement for Bowdoin,” said (former) Bowdoin College President Barry Mills. “We are enormously grateful to our principal donors John Studzinski, and Elliott and Maurice Kanbar of the Kanbar Charitable Trust. Our architect, Bill Rawn, has achieved something very special with this design, which was executed with great care and skill by H.P. Cummings. All of us at Bowdoin are thrilled with the result.”