The Shepherd School of Music sits within the Rice University campus and is the anchor building for the new West End Quadrangle. Its rational plan is organised like a Roman city, divided into quarters by cross-axial streets.
The building consists of two long, low, parallel wings attached by gardens and connecting corridors of loggias. The different volumes are grouped around exterior cloister-like patios, which offer students a perfect, intimate environment and encourages social and cultural interaction.
The facility includes a 1000-seat concert hall, a 250-seat recital hall, the Edythe Bates Old Recital Hall and Grand Organ, an opera studio, 65 practice rooms, seven classrooms, rehearsal and small ensemble spaces, and 54 teaching studios.
All offices and practice rooms have views of the campus or a courtyard. The asymmetrical massing of the west façade hints at the variety of performing halls within. The eastern front colonnade has a gentle curve that’s mirrored in a reflecting pond. The brick and basic classical architectural vocabulary are in keeping with the beautiful standards of Rice University architecture.
The Shepherd School of Music boasts world-class faculty, students with exceptional musical and academic talent, and acoustically magnificent concert halls. The building also serves Houston’s active performance community; approximately 75 000 visitors attend 350 events per year at the Shepherd School.