While it is known as the original live music capital, Lubbock, Texas lost its heart after two tornadoes destroyed the downtown core in 1970. The city’s performance venue, built in 1955, was left in disrepair and a group of citizens wanted to reinvigorate the cultural dynamics of the city. Buddy Holly Hall represents a city redefining itself through collaborative design and a community funded commitment to the arts. The design draws influences from the landscape of West Texas.
Horizonal striations running along the building’s envelope reflect the layered rock formations of Texas’ canyons. The building’s colours are inspired by the desert plains, soil and sky, while its shapes and angles are abstractions of arroyos and other landforms. The building’s façade applies various shading approaches to counter the region’s extreme temperature fluctuations.
A long overhang, angled concrete fins, and deep-set ribbon windows cool the building and filter light without obstructing views to the surrounding vistas. Entering the main lobby, one is greeted by a four-story helical staircase symbolizing the tornadoes that swept through the city, the energy of the citizens and their commitment to the arts.
The 2300-seat theatre is the primary performance space and features removable orchestra level seating that allows a flat-floor. This room accommodates a wide-range of performances and the building’s function as a commercial theatre helps support its significant educational and community theatre programming. The smaller 415-seat Crickets Theater is the community workhorse.
With the Lubbock Independent School District as its main user, the space provides a platform for young aspiring artist to showcase their talents alongside professionals. The venue also provides a new home to Ballet Lubbock with large studios for teaching and professionals. The building with its outdoor amphitheatre now anchors the monthly First Friday art trail, which walks through the district’s galleries and studios..