Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium (1959), Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona


Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium is the last non-residential design by Wright to be constructed. Designed in 1959, the formal commission was not awarded by the University until after Wright’s death; the auditorium was constructed by Wes Peters and Taliesin Associated Architects. Seating slightly more than 3,000 persons, there is wide spacing between the rows and no center aisle. There are 50 concrete columns that were cast on site, each rising 55 feet to support the outer roof. The exterior walls are brick and marblecrete (a marble-like composition material) in a desert-rose finish. The acoustics of the auditorium are known for their high quality. The balcony — the “Grand Tier” — is detached from the rear auditorium wall and rests on a 145-foot long beam resulting in the release of sound energy that would otherwise be trapped under the balcony.

 
Location: Apache Boulevard, Tempe, AZ 85281
The building is open during scheduled performances.
 


Sources:
William Allin Storrer, The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (1995), #432.
Thomas A. Heinz, Frank Lloyd Wright Field Guide (2005), p. 84.