North Central College - Naperville, IL

Architectural group honors North Central’s Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center

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May 17, 2012—North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center has received the top design award in its category from the Illinois chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The facility was recognized with the AIA’s 2012 Mies van der Rohe Award in the category for innovative design. More than 140 entries in six service categories and 13 design categories were judged by architects. The 2012 AIA awards were announced April 13 in Springfield.

Loebl Schlossman & Hackl, the Chicago-based firm that designed the College’s Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center, accepted the award. Donald J. Hackl, president of the firm, is a Life Trustee of North Central College.

“The submissions are juried by a team of architects, so it is all the more satisfying to know that this award is a recognition by one’s peers of an outstanding design,” Hackl said.

The innovative design award is named for Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), a German-American architect widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture. His sleek designs often involved use of steel and glass, and his notable Chicago-area achievements include numerous buildings on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus, the Chicago Federal Center complex and Farnsworth House, located along the Fox River near Plano.

The $30 million Fine Arts Center featuring the 13,000-square-foot Wentz Concert Hall was dedicated in 2008. The acoustics of the 605-seat Wentz Concert Hall were designed by the Talaske Group, acoustical consultants for Chicago’s critically acclaimed Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park. Wentz Concert Hall is named in honor of Dr. Myron Wentz '63, a visionary scientist, entrepreneur and lover of music who provided the lead gift for the Fine Arts Center, which includes rehearsal spaces, classrooms, the “black box” Bartley and Maricela Madden Theatre and the Schoenherr Gallery.

In addition to designing North Central’s Fine Arts Center, Loebl Schlossman & Hackl served as consulting architect for the College’s environmentally innovative Residence Hall/Recreation Center, which opened in 2009.

Based in Washington, D.C., the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has been the leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals and allied partners since 1857. The more than 83,000 members of the AIA are committed to a high standard of professional ethics, continuing education and professional development, and advancing the value of the profession on the local, state and national level. AIA Illinois is based in Springfield and serves more than 3,800 members in the state.

North Central College offers majors in music, choral and instrumental music education and jazz studies. Students receive a strong liberal arts grounding and opportunities to perform in more than 20 instrumental and vocal groups, including large and small ensembles, opera, musical theatre and jazz combos.