PROJECT: Lower Manhattan Theater
H3’s plan for a new cultural and performing arts facility envisions an innovative home for the arts in Lower Manhattan, fostering interdisciplinary exchanges between a broad range of artists and audiences. Located on a constricted lot and adjacent to several subway lines, the design of the center vertically stacks program spaces to take advantage of allowable zoning height. An innovative structural system distributes loads down and around the multiple auditoriums to provide column-free spaces throughout the building.
The building includes a 1000-seat auditorium, a 200-seat second stage rehearsal facilities, and office space. A ground level “mixing box” provides access to adjacent subway platforms below the theater, as well as express elevators and escalators to the event spaces above. Retail, business services, educational classrooms and a cabaret venue enliven the street presence of the center.
Front-of-house lobby and public spaces are located along the exterior perimeter of the building, allowing for daylight and views to the surrounding neighborhood. Back of house and support spaces are also oriented to daylight, enhancing the day-to-day use of rehearsal, office and practice spaces. Service and loading for the theaters is accessed through several secure vertical lifts, including a large scenery elevator.
The unique program of this facility generates a vibrant and versatile incubator for new artistic work and a stimulating venue for national and international performing arts groups. The partnership between arts uses above and transit connections below will further the revitalization of Lower Manhattan, ensuring the civic presence of this important site.