Toronto Breaks Ground on The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences

Toronto Breaks Ground on The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences

The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences broke ground today in Lubbock, Texas, setting a milestone for this major arts project in the hometown of the iconic 1950s pop legend Buddy Holly.

The center features the 2,200-seat Helen DeVitt Jones Theater; a 425-seat studio theater; a grand hall; a bistro; and the 22,000-square-foot home to Ballet Lubbock with five dance studios. The Christine DeVitt Lobby will be a gathering point and community asset.

"The aim for Lubbock is to create a performing arts centre as good acoustically, as welcoming to the public, and as attractive to performers to be among the best halls in North America," said Jack Diamond, Principal, with Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects.

The Lubbock Entertainment and Performing Arts Association (LEPAA) is developing the privately funded, $155-million project, which will also provide access to the Lubbock Independent School District as a learning centre. "Buddy Holly Hall will be a beacon for progress and downtown revitalization for Lubbock and the South Plains," said Tim Collins, LEPAA's chairman. "The venue is a hub that brings together people of all ages to experience world-class art in a world-class facility."

The multi-purpose nature of the venue will allow for a wide range of activity, from opera, Broadway shows and symphonic music, to rock concerts, conferences and social events. "To achieve this versatility, the floor of the auditorium can have raked seating or be flat for a standing audience, either below or in line with the stage," said Matthew Lella, Principal, Diamond Schmitt.

The central volume of the structure conceals the fly tower and is framed by a roofline of swooping planes with cascading columns that establish a strong visual identity and create a welcoming entrance. A replica of a 200-foot telecommunications tower will be installed on the site as a light sculpture, forming a beacon for the performing arts center.

Diamond Schmitt is working with development team partners Garfield Public/Private, LLC, Parkhill, Smith, & Cooper, MWM Architects, Hugo Reed & Associates, Jaffe Holden Acoustics, Schuler Shook, and Lee Lewis Construction. The 218,000-square-foot performing arts campus is on track to open in 2020.

To view a 3-minute video on the design, click here:

Diamond Schmitt Architects ( has designed many acclaimed concert halls, opera houses and theatres worldwide, including the New Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, La Maison Symphonique in Montreal, The Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. Among current projects are the design for David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City and the transformation of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Image credit: Diamond Schmitt Architects

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