Hovering above the flat plain of West Texas, the new Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center stands as a beacon for the arts in the West Texas desert. A symbol for the University of Texas as well as the communities of Midland and Odessa, the center represents the entire region’s commitment to the arts.
The building’s dramatic form is inspired by the underlying geologic structure of the Permian Basin, Texas’s petroleum-producing region. By thrusting the building’s volumes along inclines and declines and cladding them in local limestone, a unique building arises that seems formed from the geologic strata of the site.
The state-of-the-art, multi-use venue accommodates lectures, screenings, and touring productions from local and national performing arts groups. The center also provides much-needed instructional space designed for the university’s growing music education program.
The building design and systems are optimized for the harsh conditions of West Texas. Sustainable design features include thoughtfully placed windows, native plants, displacement ventilation, and daylight sensing lighting controls.