Architecture magazine highlights Christiansen Hall of Music

Construction of Christiansen Hall of Music started in 1974. Since completion, it has seen hundreds of performances each year in addition to housing much of St. Olaf’s renowned music program. Photo courtesy of Pete Sieger.

The latest issue of Architecture MN magazine applauds successful mid-century Northfield architect Ed Sövik ’39, whose memory lives on in St. Olaf College’s own Christiansen Hall of Music.

The magazine highlights important concepts to Sövik: community and people. His spaces are meant to provide a gathering place. Since the construction of Christiansen Hall of Music 42 years ago, the understated elegance of Urness Recital Hall has housed more than 100 performances each year, as well as Christmas Festival rehearsals.

The sophisticated elegance of Urness Recital Hall makes for a beautiful yet comfortable space for gathering. Photo courtesy of Pete Sieger.

Complete with balconies, a gridded ceiling, and hundreds of glittering lights, Urness Recital Hall creates a welcoming ambience that caters to connectedness no matter the group size.

Tosdal Professor of Music and St. Olaf Choir Conductor Anton Armstrong ’78, having seen the maturing process of the music building since its groundbreaking, told Architecture MN of his unceasing awe for Urness Recital Hall.

“There is a basic grandeur and beauty in that room.” —Anton Armstrong

Photo courtesy of Pete Sieger.