Program: Performance Art Center Semester Coordinator: Prof. Eric Höweler
Studio Critic: Prof. Jonathan Levi
Duration: 10 wks
Design a performance art center located in downtown Boston, adjacent to the Brutalist Government Service Center designed by Paul Rudolph in the 1960s, with programs including a 1200 seats Auditorium, a Black-box theater, an Education wing with dance studios and classrooms.
The adjacent massive, opaque, heroic architecture of the Goverment Services Center by architect Paul Rudolph, built mostly with cast in place concrete, reflects an attitude of illusory permanence. As an opposition to that, I foresee an architecture that speaks of lightness, transluscence and transience. The performance art center is to be enveloped by translucent fabric.
Historically, the tent of the Middle East suggested a luxurious hidden world, a quality that is at the heart of the tent’s exoticism in music, opera and art. Moreover, tent speaks of a structural truthfulness that is always perfectly balanced. The programs of our project - audience lobby, performance arena and education facility, too, must always be in balance. I arranged the three programs to the three extremities of our site, having them come into contact at the center where they support each other, forming a ring that is suspended off the ground, creating a space beneath for pedastrian traffic, activating the plaza in front of the GSC. On the exterior facade, each wing is defined by an outward leaning pointed arch, pulled back by the central ring and also supports the cantilevering floor plates, coming to an equilibrium.