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August 31, 2018

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The role of master planning is vital to the long-term health of an organization. A campus (or site) master plan establishes overall goals, objectives, and design principles that will guide future physical development. It provides long-term planning for architecture, land use, space use, landscape, transportation, parking, and utilities.

However, it is not enough to define what a master plan is—the goal is just as important. The underlining philosophy of master planning is that it must be a usable and implementable roadmap for the future. A master plan cannot be put into use if it is not fundamentally achievable.

An example of a truly successful master plan was when Strang led Madison Area Technical College to develop a comprehensive 10-year facilities master plan. This planning effort focused on the four key elements of facilities assessment, space needs analysis, physical planning, and capital planning. Together, we were able to create a consistent brand and experience for each of Madison College’s seven unique campuses and most importantly—we were able to successfully implement these plans.

A testament to our success lies in the fact that a significant number of buildings defined in our master plan document (the Student Success Center, Campus Center, Allied Health & Wellness Education Center, Ingenuity Center Transportation & Advanced Manufacturing Center, and Fire & Protective Services) were actually built in a $133 million referendum that was wholeheartedly supported by voters from the community. As a result, the campus today has been transformed from an aging facility to a state-of-the-art campus for the 21st century. It now offers a vibrant sense of place and student life that is consistent with the vision outlined in the master plan.


The Gebhardt Building, an eight-story high-rise housing retail and commercial office space, is part of the resurgence of Madison’s Capitol East District corridor, long in need of economic progress. The 125,000-square foot building will open in September with Strang as its first tenant. This building is seeking both LEED and WELL Building certification. The design is unique because it houses both office space along Washington Street and a 45,000-SF entertainment venue for Frank Productions, a Madison-based family-owned music production company.

Named “The Sylvee,” the 2,500-person venue will feature VIP suites, balconies and open floor space for concert-goers.
The key to the design process was in working closely with clients to bring out the best of the entertainment space without impacting the quality of the offices.


Madison-area music fans will get a chance to enjoy the latest and greatest music venue to come to town now that “The Sylvee” has opened. The Sylvee is owned by Frank Productions, a family business and a cornerstone of the Madison community for more than 50 years. Designers worked closely with the family to assure The Sylvee accurately reflects the legacy of Herb and Sylvia Frank as they lay the cornerstone for this incredible new facility.

The venue, which resides in the Gebhardt Building, is a 45,000-SF 2,500-person music hall designed to meet the strong and lasting demand for world-class live music in Madison.
The Sylvee will help to ensure that bands and artists of all types and all sizes will be able to entertain their fans right here in Madison for generations to come. This project will be seeking LEED certification.


The Eau Claire community had good reason to celebrate when the Pablo held its grand opening in September. The space not only showcases and embraces Eau Claire’s diverse performing arts community, but is flexible enough to host a variety of community events.

This project was made possible by a new economic development paradigm that recognizes the interdependence of creative industries resulting in improved regional attractiveness and positive business impacts. Availability of cultural events and entertainment is just as important for the region’s artists, citizens and visitors as it is for the venue.
The project builds upon the distinctive nature of the Chippewa Valley. The Pablo Center includes a 1,129-seat main theater, a 397-seat mid-size theater and a gathering space that can be transformed for various types of performances.


Construction is currently underway on Northern Sky Theater’s new campus featuring two buildings on a 39-acre parcel. It will give Northern Door County its only professionally equipped performance space. The project will provide both new rehearsal space and an intimate 200-seat performance space, providing an indoor venue for fall and winter shows.

The multi-functional center will also serve to centralize its support operations with pre-production facilities and administrative offices. The project will increase efficiencies, expand its creative capacity and, most importantly, ensure the future of Northern Sky Theater.


The 63,300-SF Hamel Music Center on the UW-Madison campus, is designed to anchor the East Campus Arts Gateway and be a showcase for the Mead-Witter School of Music. The venue, by Strang in conjunction with Holzman Moss Bottino, will host more than 350 events annually, from symphony and chamber orchestras to soloists and choral performers.

The facility will include a 315-seat recital hall, large rehearsal room and spacious lobby. The main concert hall inside the center features large holes – entryways for sound into two large reverberation chambers.
These chambers, together with recessed panels, and other sound reflection points, comprise an integrated acoustical treatment system which will empower the Wisconsin Sound – achieving unrivaled acoustic performance on a worldwide level inspiring passion among artists and audiences alike.


An eight-story 188,000-SF addition and 57,00-SF renovation to the Chemistry Building on the University of Wisconsin campus is a huge undertaking that brings this vital educational facility up to date. The $100 million project serves approximately 7,000 undergraduates each semester and is an important part of this world-class research institution.

New and remodeled space will house lecture halls, active learning classrooms, offices and instructional labs for undergraduate general, organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry.

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