A 335-seat concert hall with lobby and upper reception room, inserted within the rebuilt and expanded historic Haskins Building on the main street of Rockport, MA, is the new home of the Rockport Chamber Music Festival. The worn exterior of the mercantile edifice has been returned to its 1845 Second Empire splendor to enhance the charm of its historic village setting. The interior has been completely reconfigured as a world-class performance venue that integrates the beauty of the ocean setting on which it adjoins. The oceanfront façade has been reshaped to open all public rooms to the harbor and add a new joyful and scaled face to the town’s harbor edge.



Original Structure and Design Process

Performance Video

Generous Comments

The new Shalin Liu Performance Center . . . is one of the best public gathering spaces to appear in years in the Boston area. It manages to be unpretentious but at the same time dramatic.
. . . beautiful to the eye as well as to the ear . . . not only [is the SLPC] a great little hall but a wonderful laboratory for experimentation, with . . . each result outdoing the one before.
— James Oestreich, New York Times, June 2010
The new hall is visually striking yet it still exudes a core warmth thanks to the intimacy of scale . . . This space conjure[s] a sense of calm focus. It is a hall for serious listening—and yet it rejects the notion that such listening requires a hermetic seal from the world outside . . . This is an essential new venue for the Boston area, perfectly scaled for chamber music.
— Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe, June 2010

Project Data

STATUS: Completed 2010

SIZE: 17,300 gsf

COST: $13 million

Project Credits

OWNER: Rockport Music

OWNER'S REPRESENTATIVE: Design Technique, Inc.

CONTRACTOR: Consigli Construction Co., Inc.

ARCHITECT: Epstein Joslin Architects

Principals-in-Charge: Alan Joslin (Design and Management), Deborah Epstein (Special Projects, Interiors and Finishes), Designers: Marco Marraccini, Robert Picardy, Nino Sylvia, Oliver Wuttig, Jose Soliva, Model Makers: Tiffany Li, Gavin Reudisueli, Denver Thomas


ACOUSTICIAN: Kirkegaard Associates

THEATER: Theatre Consultants Collaborative

STRUCTURE: Le Messurier Consultants, Inc.

MEP: TMP Consulting Engineers

LIGHTING: Ripman Lighting Consultants, Inc.


COST ESTIMATE: Daedalus Projects, Inc.

SIGNAGE: Wojciechowski Design

IMAGE COPYRIGHT: All slideshow Robert Benson except 4,8 Michael Lutch

Honors and Awards

2011 BSA: Honor Award for Design Excellence

2011 USITT: Architecture Merit Award

2011 BUILD NEW ENGLAND: Honor Award

2011 PRAGUE QUADRENNIAL: Selected for Exhibition

2010 BOSTON GLOBE: "Best of the New"

2012 IESNA: Regional Award for Excellence in Lighting

2012 IESNA: Edmin Guth Memorial Award for Interior Lighting

2012 IESNA: Regional Award of Merit