Diller Scofidio + Renfro - The Tianjin Juilliard School, welcome the public into the universe of music
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The Tianjin Juilliard School, welcome the public into the universe of music

Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Education  /  Completed
Diller Scofidio + Renfro
The Tianjin Juilliard School (TJS) is a center for performance, practice, research, and interactive exhibitions, with communal spaces that are designed to welcome the public into the creative process and performance of music. TJS is the first performing arts institution in China to confer a U.S.-accredited Master of Music (MM) degree. The new school also comprises a Saturday Pre-College program for students ages 8 - 18; continuing education programs for professionals and adult learners; public education programs for music learners of all ages; and public performances.

The building is composed of four faceted pavilions housing a 690-seat concert hall, a 299-seat recital hall, a 225-seat black box theater, and administrative, faculty, and rehearsal programs. Visitors are welcomed by a generous, column-free lobby at ground level that features four sky-lit atriums that draw light down to lower levels programmed by grandstand seating and a café as well as a tilt-up tree planter and a lush grove. With entry available from every direction, the lobby also provides interior access to all three concert venues as well as creating a lush public space usable all-year-round by citizens of and visitors to Yujiapu. The lobby is designed as an extension of the park.

To encourage integration of public and private space, five glass bridges span the expansive public lobby that extends the surrounding park into the building, inviting students, visitors and concert goers to mingle, relax and experience the students practicing and giving informal performances. The bridges contain two levels of instructional spaces including 12 classrooms, 23 teaching studios, and 86 practice rooms of diverse sizes that can be viewed from public space below, all clad in transparent glass to encourage visual and auditory access to the study of music, inviting both casual and structured exchange between students, faculty and visitors. Double height student lounges with panoramic views of the city or the Hai River are generated by the spaces where the bridges intersect. The building achieves world-class acoustics in the performance, teaching, and practice areas, which are all sound isolated and achieving NC15 acoustic rating.

The concert hall is the institution’s primary performance facility. The hall has a seating capacity of 690 and mechanized wood stage risers that can transform the stage into various configurations. Under the stage is an acoustic resonant chamber to enhance the sound of cello and bass. Surround-configuration allows for a more intimate relationship between the audience and performers, especially in the stage-right area, fostering a close up view of the performer's fingering on the piano. The hall is clad in eucalyptus wood, creating a warm, reverberant environment. A glass façade equipped with motorized blackout shades offers a view to the Hai River as a dramatic backdrop for performances. Acoustically isolated on giant springs, the Hall achieves world-class acoustic ratings in all categories. Overhead mechanized lighting positions allow for optimal illumination of the concert stage and the musicians.

The 299-seat recital hall is the acoustic workhorse of the school with nearly continuous use for student and faculty recitals. Clad in Eucalyptus wood, the recital hall features a surround configuration – rare in intimate recital halls- and a 14m x 6m stage with a glass façade overlooking the nearby park and reflecting pool. The 225-seat Black Box Theater has been designed for multi-media performances as well as recitals, small ensembles and chamber opera, and dance events. The theater features telescopic seating and an overhead wire rope grid that allows for flexible audience and lighting configurations. The 3 large rehearsal rooms function both as education and performance spaces. The acoustically adaptable Recital Hall, Concert Hall, Black Box Theater and rehearsal rooms feature motorized vertical acoustic banners to allow for acoustical fine-tuning, as well as a resilient floor and box-in-box sound isolation. These spaces are also equipped for real time audio recording. The rehearsal rooms are located in the same B1 level as the Concert Hall and Recital Hall stage to allow easy movement of large instruments from one space to the other.

Juilliard Imagination is a multi-faceted, digital learning environment for exploring the rich tapestry of music, dance, and drama, providing a unique opportunity for the public to learn about Juilliard. This dedicated 8,800 sq. ft. space has curated interactive displays with exciting audio and visual experiences incorporating virtual reality and other cutting-edge technologies powered by Sony. The school utilizes leading edge telecommunication and video conferencing technologies to ensure a high degree of connectivity and collaboration between students and faculty at Tianjin Juilliard School and The Juilliard School in New York. The Juilliard Imagination space, for example, is a digitally connected exhibition space, capable of hosting live streamed concerts between both Juilliard facilities.

Designed by Hargreaves Jones, the landscape provides a series of indoor and outdoor spaces that invite the public into the site via the park to the north, the gardens to the east, the plaza and promenade to the south and the Town Square and riverfront landscape to the west. The grain of the larger pedestrian systems intersecting on site is recognized in landscape connections: promenades from city to river and from Juilliard to the river and city. These connections guide visitors from the high-speed rail station to the waterfront. The landscape is incorporated throughout the building, merging the indoor and outdoor environments. Publicly accessible green roofs and a rooftop terrace covered with planting, paving, and bench seating will further encourage visitors to the site, as well as provide views of the nearby Hai River. The landscape that connects to the city is a series of gardens to add color and texture that continue into the building.


 The Tianjin Juilliard School
 32500 mq
 Design Architect: Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Executive Architect: East China Architectural Design & Research Institute (ECADI)
 (Diller Scofidio + Renfro) Partners: Charles Renfro, Elizabeth Diller, Benjamin Gilmartin, and Ricardo Scofidio; Project Team: Ellix Wu, Ayat Fadaifard, Heng-Choong Leong, Brian Tabolt, Andrés Macera, Yushiro Okamoto, Jack Solomon, David Chacon, Ling Zhang, and Barry Beagen
 Acoustics: Jaffe Holden Acoustics; Landscape: Hargreaves Jones; Structure/MEP: Arup; Theater: Fisher Dachs Associates; Curtain Wall: Front; Lighting: Tillotson Design Associates; Climate: Transsolar; AV/IT: Shen Milsom Wilke; Facade Glazing: Luoyang North Glass Technology Co., Ltd
 Facade Wood Cladding: Parklex International S.L.; Performance Hall Wood Veneer: SanFoot
 Zhang Chao


Founded in 1981, Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) is a design studio whose practice spans the fields of architecture, urban design, installation art, multi-media performance, digital media, and print. With a focus on cultural and civic projects, DS+R’s work addresses the changing role of institutions and the future of cities. The studio is based in New York and is comprised of over 100 architects, designers, artists and researchers, led by four partners—Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, Charles Renfro and Benjamin Gilmartin.


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