Projects + Education + Don Wright Faculty of Music

Don Wright Faculty of Music

The Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University is one of Canada’s leading music schools. Due to this success, the faculty has seen enrollment increase by approximately 300 students since the construction of their original building in 1972. To accommodate this growth, the faculty required an expansion of available space and updates to modernize their facilities. Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. supported the faculty throughout this process, providing architectural services for planning, programming, design, and contract administration. Our firm was originally engaged to assess renovation options and to consider a new site location for the faculty. We completed studies that included examination of existing building conditions and exploration of possibilities for alterations and additions. Working with Educational Consultant Services, we also provided a program analysis for the music department and worked with the faculty and building committee to prepare ways in which Talbot College and the existing music library could be modified, upgraded, and made more effective. Following the completion of the studies, our firm was engaged to design the renovation and addition for the existing building. The new, expanded design was developed in close and ongoing collaboration with the faculty, and was refined to meet their needs in terms of program, flexibility, scope, and budget. The design expands the building by 9,500 square feet, including a new five-storey tower that fills an existing courtyard space. A renovated block accommodates a new performance hall, faculty offices, practice rooms, teaching studios, an early music ensemble suite, and a main lobby. The project also features a new 45-seat recital hall, recording studio spaces, and teaching studios of varying size and character. The project was designed for phasing and modest expansion, including a new expanded lobby, more teaching studios and two significant classrooms.