Overture Foundation

Overture Center for the Arts

Bravura performance of HVAC.

A multi-purpose, multi-phase, 21st century cultural resource stitched into the fabric of 19th century-scaled downtown Madison, Wisconsin, the 400,000 square foot Overture Center is a model of energy-efficient operation. The 400,000 square foot facility, covering one and a half city blocks, houses four sound-sensitive performance venues ranging from a 2,225-seat symphony hall and 1,100-seat drama theater to a 250-seat recital hall, as well as the humidification-specific galleries and supporting spaces of a 50,000 square foot museum of contemporary art.


Madison, WI


  • Flad Architects - Architect of Record
  • Pelli Clarke & Partners - Design Architect
  • Potter Lawson, Inc. - Architect of Record

Building Size

400,000 square feet


  • 2011 Commercial Design Awards, Best New Development or Renovation - Public Building
  • Best of 2004

Overture Hall which hosts a wide range of performances, from Broadway musicals and symphony performances to national musical tours.

Under floor air distribution within the large volume of the performance hall localizes temperature control to occupied space. Ductwork enlarged to reduce noise also creates less static pressure requiring less fan horsepower to move the air. Multiple air handling units with economizer controls support the respective venues throughout the facility; variable air volume systems with variable frequency drives match fan speeds and energy usage with constantly varying HVAC loads. Temperature and humidity control in museum gallery spaces uses energy recovery units, transferring heat and humidity between supply and relief air streams.

sq. ft.

The 1,100-seat Capitol Theater houses the CTM Madison Family Theater and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.

The 51,400 square foot Madison Museum of Contemporary Art contains over 11,600 square feet of exhibit space and 8,000 square feet of galleries. Specialty areas within this facility include many public areas and meeting space, a rooftop sculpture garden, a café and a gift shop.

Project Leaders