PBDW was hired to create a technologically advanced black box theater and rehearsal spaces in a 1920’s era brick garage, realizing a maximum of performance flexibility while losing none of the old building’s charm.
The west half of the building, containing the offices, rehearsal hall, and lounge and lockers for the dancers, had been partly restored in 1999 as a photo studio. We reworked existing walls to create new locker rooms, a lounge, and offices, and added new lighting, sprinklers, and mechanical rooms while retaining the rehearsal hall’s beautifully exposed original roof trusses and large skylight.
The program for the theater called for a flexible seating arrangement and required a number of new rooms: patron toilets, dressing rooms, lighting and audio closets, wardrobe, etc. Our solution was to erect a new wall made of recycled brick at the north end of the east shed’s open space and provide the new dressing rooms, wardrobe, and mezzanine for utility spaces behind it. The patron toilets were then inserted in a pair of small, cold-rolled steel clad pods at the front of the building.
The palette is limited to the application of new materials and finishes only where needed, in neutral colors and simple materials that are sympathetic to the original structure and materials – nearly all of which are exposed.