Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Light takes center stage — electrifying the “wow factor” of San Antonio’s famed River Walk.

Originally built in 1926, San Antonio’s Municipal Auditorium has been renovated and expanded as the new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. The historic facades and public spaces have been preserved while the existing auditorium has been replaced with a multi-purpose performance hall for productions ranging from symphony, to dance, to rock ‘n roll.

Inspired by the rich cultural history of San Antonio, the design team wanted to create a space that could express the exuberance of “fiesta” but also portray the quiet sophistication of the existing historic structure. The exterior color-changing veil facade can provide subtle color shifts to highlight the architecture or show dynamic shapes, text or even video, specific to events. In the performance hall, the color-changing balcony fronts and ceiling uplights can ignite the space with a pop of vibrant colors or be tuned to a classic candle-light effect for the symphony.

Project Highlights

• LEED Silver Certified
• Dynamic color-changing veil & balconies
• Historic plus contemporary aesthetic
• Sophisticated controls
• Sensitive acoustics


• LMN Architects
• Marmon Mok Architecture


Project Background

• 157,000 square feet
• 1,759 seat performance hall
• 30-foot video wall
• $220 million


Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
• Edwin F. Guth Memorial Award for Interior Lighting Design
• Outdoor Lighting Design Award of Merit

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