The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater

Utah, USA

Situated in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater is set to become a leading entertainment venue.

Featuring a 2,500 seat main concert hall, smaller performance stages, rehearsal areas and public gathering facilities, the theater incorporates a stunning glazed facade that gives the public glimpses of the spaces within.


Buro Happold provided MEP engineering services for the new theater, supporting the team in developing the key design criteria and detailed energy and comfort analysis.

Key challenges for the team during the project included the theater’s constricted location in a tight urban site surrounded by high-rise buildings. We also had to make allowances for the different locations of the design team.

Utah Performing Arts Center
The theater’s constrained urban site provided a challenge for our team. Image: Jeff Goldberg /Esto


During the early stages of the design, the Buro Happold team carried out extensive energy analysis and conservation measure analytics to meet strict energy guidelines and provide a comfortable environment.

The theater’s central location meant that the equipment on the roof of the four-story building had to be minimized. The restricted footprint also meant that our engineers needed to work within the confines of the building, with limited space for services installation.

Because both the architect and Buro Happold do not have a local presence in Salt Lake City, the team arranged a series of bi-weekly workshops in New York to keep the project on schedule. Those meetings were interspersed with gatherings that concentrated on specific areas of the design.

Eccles Theater
This exciting new performing arts center features a 2,500-seat performance hall, an intimate black box theater, a six story grand lobby, an outdoor plaza and numerous event and rehearsal spaces. Image: Jeff Goldberg /Esto


This dramatic new building offers a new approach to theater design. The layout of the spaces within the performing arts center opens up the backstage operations so they are visible to people using the park and retail spaces nearby, further uniting the theater with the community and its surroundings.

The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater
The dramatic building offers a new approach to theater design. Image: Jeff Goldberg /Esto



WAN (World Architecture News) Awards, Performing Spaces Award, Regional Winner, Americas


AIA Utah Design Awards

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