10 still in running for arts center job Architects compete for project at UM

November 03, 1993|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,Staff Writer

Ten of the nation's leading architects have made the cutoff in the international competition to design an $80 million performing arts center for the University of Maryland's College Park campus.

The semifinalists announced yesterday include notables such as Michael Graves, well known for his fanciful hotels and other projects for the Disney Development Co.; Cesar Pelli, lead architect of the World Financial Center in Manhattan; and James Ingo Freed, designer of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

"We are delighted with the national and international stature of architectural firms that will be competing," said William E. Kirwan, president of the University of Maryland at College Park. "The caliber of participants ensures that the facility will be a landmark building for the state and a showcase for the performing arts at College Park."

The Maryland Center for Performing Arts, on which construction is scheduled to begin in 1996 and be completed by 1999, will be one of the largest and most expensive buildings in the university's history. Plans call for a 1,500-seat concert hall, a 200-seat recital hall, two other theaters with a total of 800 seats, classrooms, offices and a library.

Last spring, state legislators approved $2.2 million in design funds for the project, which will be constructed with state bond revenues and $10 million from Prince George's County.

Mr. Pelli of New Haven, Conn., formed a joint venture with RTKL Associates of Baltimore, Mr. Graves heads his own firm in Princeton, N.J., and Mr. Freed is a principal of Pei Cobb Freed and Partners of New York.

Other semifinalists are Antoine Predock of Albuquerque, N.M.; Barton Myers Associates of Los Angeles; Hammond Beeby and Babka of Chicago; and Michael Dennis and Associates of Boston with Ayers Saint Gross of Baltimore.

Also, Moore Ruble Yudell of Santa Monica, Calif.; Rafael Vinoly of New York with RCG Inc. of Baltimore; and Zeidler Roberts Partnership of Baltimore with Bryant and Bryant of Washington.

This is one of the rare occasions when state officials have used a competition to select a design team for a state project.

The Maryland Department of General Services is working with UM to run the competition, which drew letters of interest from 199 firms and formal submissions from 41.

Roger K. Lewis, an architect and professor at the UM School of Architecture, is the lead coordinator.

After interviewing the semifinalists, state representatives will select three to five groups to create designs from Nov. 12 to Feb. 7. Each will be paid $50,000, and the competition winner will be given the first chance to negotiate a contract to carry out the commission.

The seven-member jury for the competition includes academics and architects.

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