USI Performance Center
The Performance Center at the University of Southern Indiana seats nearly 300 in a fully accessible, state-of-the-art teaching theater featuring fully programable LED light walls. But most-impressive is the careful selection of materials used throughout the interior and exterior of the building, which pays hommage to the region:
Can Clay Corporation Clay Pipe
For 104 years, the Can Clay Corporation of Cannelton, Indiana, has produced clay for underground utility and sewer piping. It is typically fired at 2,000 degrees over the course of seven days. Twelve and 14-foot lengths of the 21-inch diameter CanOlok vitrified clay pipe are erected vertically to enclose structural steel columns.
Jasper Chair Company Chair Legs
The Jasper Chair Company, of Jasper, Indiana, has manufactured wood chairs from its own woodland since 1921. Twelve hundred steam-bent chair legs have been assembled and stained to form rosettes suspended from the lobby ceiling. The same chair legs are used in the donor recognition display in the second floor lobby.
The red sandstone on the exterior and interior walls is from Brazil, Indiana, and pays homage to the Smithsonian Institution’s Castle. Built in 1855, the castle is the oldest building on the National Mall. Congressman Robert Dale Owen (son of Robert Owen, founder of the second utopian experiment at New Harmony, Indiana) was chair of the Smithsonian Building Committee. His brother, geologist David Dale Owen, recommended it be built from red sandstone. Both Owens resided in New Harmony for a time, and USI is one of the sponsors of Historic New Harmony, an initiative to create and retain interest in the history and current life of New Harmony.
Toyota Sienna Dash Panels
Thirty-five Sienna dash panels, a generous gift from Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Inc., of Princeton, Indiana, form part of the acoustical environment for the Performance Center. These panels serve as reflective surfaces just below the catwalk rings at ceiling level. They direct reflective sound and provide better speech intelligibility for the audience and performers.