Rozsa Center for Performing Arts – Michigan Technological University – Houghton, MI

The 60,000 SF performing arts facility, built at a modest cost of $18,000,000, has a commanding presence as an introduction to the campus when approached from the east on highway 41. The building’s form is expressive of the function and importance. The metal covered roof design transforms into multifaceted roofs over the lobby space. The building shape is a symbolic representation of a vertical mine shaft and provides a physical link with the area’s copper mining history, and the university’s original purpose of educating mining engineers. The building’s unique form with steep roof slope over the auditorium combined with fifty (50) feet height differential resulting in snow loads on the roof in excess of 400 pounds per square foot and wind loads on the building façade in excess of 50 pounds per square foot. Desai/Nasr received the GLFEA “Steel Systems Excellence Award” for this project.