Theater-in-the-square

Luxigon The World Trade Center's incoming performing arts center will have a translucent marble facade, allowing sunlight to pass through during the day, and lights from inside to shine out during the night.

Luxigon
The World Trade Center’s incoming performing arts center will have a translucent marble facade, allowing sunlight to pass through during the day, and lights from inside to shine out during the night.

BY COLIN MIXSON

This design isn’t just out of the box — it is a box!

Locals finally got a glimpse of the World Trade Center’s upcoming cultural cornerstone, the Ronald Perelman Performing Arts Center, through new renderings that depict a large, translucent box, and Downtowners can’t stop raving about the elegant simplicity of the cube-shaped theater.

“I like the boxiness,” said Battery Park City resident Dennis Gault.

Brooklyn-based architectural firm REX was selected last November to design the new performance center, and finally unveiled its renderings at an event Sept. 8.

The new images depict a slightly off-grade, cube-shaped structure sheathed in translucent marble, which will permit sunlight to illuminate the space within during the day, and indoor lights to shine outside after dusk as the silhouettes of human figures become visible from within.

Luxigon The new performing arts center at the World Trade Center will be decidedly cube-shaped.

Luxigon
The new performing arts center at the World Trade Center will be decidedly cube-shaped.

The facade’s marble will be sourced from the very same Vermont quarry that provided materials for the US Supreme Court building and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and will be laminated with insulated glass.

The structure will have three levels, with performances occurring on the top floor in three separate auditoriums capable of seating 499, 250, and 99 people respectively, with an additional rehearsal space that can also double as a performance space.

And those core rooms will have moveable “guillotine” walls, allowing the spaces to be reformed to create seven additional rooms for a grand total of 11 configurations.

The middle level will contain facilities to support performers and artists, including dressing, green, musician, and quiet rooms, in addition to wig storage and costume shops.

The bottom, street-level floor will provide public amenities such as a restaurant/bar, which can transform into a cabaret, dance podium, performance art space, or a community room.

The PAC@WTC was promised to Lower Manhattan as part of the WTC site’s master plan in 2002, but was blocked from construction by a temporary PATH train station that remained in operation while the gigantic, $4-billion Oculus Transportation Hub was under construction.

It was verbosely dubbed the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center after the billionaire philanthropist pledged $75 million for the project.

The project is seen by many as the next step in Downtown’s rise to become one of the city’s premiere places to live, work, and play, and the cherry on top of a rebuilding effort that, when the performing art center finally opens sometime in 2020, will have been 19 years in the making following the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, according to a local real estate expert and founder of the Fidi Fanpage.

“It’s another part of the ongoing transformation of the neighborhood as part of one of New York’s top 24/7 communities,” said Vazquez.

Luxigon A rendering of the design by Brooklyn-based architecture firm REX depicts the incoming World Trade Center performing art center's theater in the round.

Luxigon
A rendering of the design by Brooklyn-based architecture firm REX depicts the incoming World Trade Center performing art center’s theater in the round.

Spread the word:

4 Responses to Theater-in-the-square

  1. Not understanding how this area can accommodate any additional development and traffic? Another “destination” development?

    It is overcrowded already, with multiple buildings under construction and not yet open.

  2. Fascinating how a box, cube, square is a wonderful shape for a PAC but totally ugly for a residential or commercial building nowadays. Interestingly, the outdated plaza in front of the NY State Capitol is the reverse, and (now considered) truly ugly. The architectural styles in vogue downtown will in the not too distant future themselves become tiresome. What then, will we downtowners be stuck with monstrous dinosaurs of construction like Albany and so many other locales around the world? Ugh.

  3. Regarding the “rise” of downtown becoming a premiere place to live, work and play: Great! It’s going to be a wonderful day when we regular people are priced out on our homes because of the “success” of the planners and real estate fanatics (like Vazquez?). It will be a beautiful place to live on the street, parks and memorial while the mega rich get to live indoors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


− 3 = four