- Real Estate
- Under Cover
- Special Editorial
- In Pictures
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.
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.