39 West College
The new Bertram and Judith Kohl Building serves as the innovative home for the Oberlin Conservatory of Music’s nationally recognized Department of Jazz Studies and its academic programs in music history and music theory. The Kohl Building features a world-class recording studio; flexible rehearsal and performance spaces; teaching studios and practice rooms; and an archive for the largest private jazz recording collection in America, rare musical instruments, and a rare collection of jazz photographs from the 1950s, among other holdings.
The Kohl Building is organized to strategically create places for “intellectual loitering” and the assembly of creative ideas.” On the promenade level, the building defines exterior spaces and preserves, reinforces and enhances a historic campus/public passageway, clarifying the axial relationship to the town’s Tappan Square. Above the outdoor walk, the third-story Sky Lounge provides an active social space - a shared realm and creative hub for the interaction of students, faculty, and staff.
Practice rooms and rehearsal spaces are concentrated on the lower two levels as a means of isolating spaces with more stringent acoustical requirements, while faculty offices occupy the upper floor. The vertical progression of spaces to the third story lounge and offices correlates to the movement from acoustic sensitivity to the visual openness of the landscape, culminating in the roof garden.
Anchoring the new facility, the recording studio and performance space fills a long-standing void for the conservatory, offering an adjustable acoustic environment and state-of-the-art digital equipment. Other flexible rehearsal spaces include three ensemble rooms for small ensembles. Specialized spaces include a library resources area, teaching studios, scholarly studios for music history and theory, practice rooms, a computer laboratory, music archive and exhibit areas, and lobby. Substantial storage areas include environmentally conditioned storage essential for musical instruments and the conservatory’s valuable library materials.
Westlake Reed Leskosky. Oberlin College & Conservatory. The Bertram And Judith Kohl Building Oberlin's New Home For Jazz Studies Design. The Bertram and Judith Kohl Building. Westlake Reed Leskosky, 2010. Web. 3 June 2010. wrldesign.com/projects/education/the-bertram-and-judith-kohl-building.