Cultural Facilities for AIArchitect

Mark Taper Forum Renovation-Los Angeles, California The Mark Taper Forum renovation upgrades theatrical systems, creates new space, and brings the historic Welton Becket-designed theater back to its original condition while complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The updated design employs reflective materials and thematic curved shapes to create a refreshed interior of edgy elegance that continues the Taper's reputation as the "people's theater." Outdated spaces and systems were removed, restored, or renovated to comply with historically significant elements. Architect: Studio 16 Architecture PLLC

Comstock History Center-Virginia City, Nevada This 5,170-square-foot multiuse facility will house the office and boardroom of the Comstock Historic District Commission, an archeology lab, artifact storage facility, a museum containing Engine No. 18 from the historic V&T Railroad, as well as archeological artifacts that have been uncovered in the Virginia City area. The design borrows from a train shed that once occupied the site as well as the mining structures that were prevalent in the area. Extensive research was conducted on railroad buildings and particular V&T structures in the vicinity of this site prior to designing the facility so that an accurate historic building representation would be constructed. The windows in the engine bay offer an enticement to tourists visiting Virginia City to come view the 1873 train engine housed inside. Architect: J.P. Copoulos, Architect

Miami Science Museum-Miami, Florida The Miami Science Museum, located in a prominent parkland site in downtown Miami, will be a 250,000-square-foot $300M building forming part of the Cultural District that links other new projects such as the performing arts center, art museum, and arena. Slated for completion in mid 2013, the partly open-air structure will be home to science galleries, a history gallery, a planetarium, and a ‘living core" aquarium and wildlife center that contains a microcosm of South Florida’s animal, fish, and plant species. The living core will frame the starting point of each visit, providing an environmental context for studies of the social, technological, physical, and natural world around us. As far as possible, Grimshaw’s design is a "living building" -- physically and visibly changing in response to weather, events, and mood of the city. Architect: Grimshaw/Rodriguez and Quiroga

Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument-Indianapolis, Indiana As the most widely recognized symbol of the City of Indianapolis, the Soldiers' and Sailors’ Monument has a rich and storied history. Completed in 1901, the monument had weathered many Indiana seasons, causing delamination of its structural steel and causing its terrace-level steps to shift, crack, and allow water infiltration. Preserving it was paramount. The project, completed in three phases, focused on the cleaning and restoration of the monument exterior, including abundant limestone and bronze statuary. Special cleaning methods, (including walnut shells and glass beads), were used for cleaning, stone joints were tuckpointed, new vaults and arches were constructed to replace the terrace and stone stair supports, a new viewing enclosure was constructed at the monument pinnacle, and the lower level was excavated four feet, by hand, to build out a Civil War Museum. Architect: Schmidt Associates/Museum InterAction

Peninsula Players Theatre-Fish Creek, Wisconsin In 1937 the newly vacated 22-acre Wildwood Boys Camp became the home of the Peninsula Players Theatre. It offers a truly beautiful and striking setting with its spectacular sunsets, cedar-scented landscape, paths along the Green Bay shoreline, and enchanting gardens. A unique working resident theater company was formed with more than 40 theater professionals living on property. By the late 1990s, the aging stagehouse began to show the need for significant renovations and repairs. It needed to maintain the tradition of natural acoustics and provide all the technical needs of a 21st century professional theater. Architect: Holabird & Root

The Courtyard Theatre-Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire The Courtyard Theatre was designed as an extension to The Other Place, the Royal Shakespeare Company's 150-seat studio theater. The new theater has a new 1,050-seat auditorium, while the existing Other Place auditorium has been transformed into foyer spaces, cloakroom, bar areas, shop, booking office and call center, dressing rooms, and band rehearsal space. This new building has external walls built of Corten A steel sheets creating a sound-proof auditorium to meet the RSC's high acoustic requirements. This recyclable material was chosen for its no-maintenance surface and red color which blends with the surrounding buildings and the town. The interior of the walls is golden ply, and the red auditorium seating floats inside this box. The thrust-stage auditorium design is based on an original concept by the RSC. Architect: Ian Ritchie Architects

Queens Theatre-in-the-Park-Queens, New York  A place of reconnections, this theater features additions that build upon the playful circular geometries of the original 1964 Philip Johnson World’s Fair complex. It is a party room for the borough, whose rich materials and sunset colors are understood as festive by a wide cross-section of the 109 ethnic cultures that are the glory of Queens. The new structure is a 600-person reception room for the borough, standing on axis with the giant oval of Johnson's New York State Pavilion. Architect: Caples Jefferson Architects/Lee Timchula Architects


The Spire-Dublin, Ireland This tapering monument, 120 meters high and 3 meters in diameter at the base, rises above O'Connell Street, breaking above the roof line with as slender and elegant a movement as is technically possible. Its structure and surfaces respond to the character and climate of the Irish landscape: the Spire sways gently in the wind and, during the daytime, the monument softly reflects the light of Ireland's sky. From dusk, the base is gently lit and the tip illuminated to provide a beacon in the night sky over Dublin. The bronze base is flush with the surrounding paving, allowing individuals and groups to stand on the base to see themselves and touch the Spire surface. Architect: Ian Ritchie Architects

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts-Scottsdale, Arizona  This 1975 performing arts center was one of the most notable projects designed by the late Arizona architect Bennie Gonzales, FAIA, who also designed Scottsdale's signature municipal structures, including the city hall and main library, which are linked to the arts center by the park-like Scottsdale Civic Center. Gonzales designed the 100,000-square-foot arts center to include a large main theater, a smaller, secondary theater, gallery space, offices, and a vast central atrium. Several years ago, however, it became apparent that the center was in need of a major renovation. In 2008 the most ambitious aspect of the project began, the renovation of the 838-seat main theater and the atrium. Architect: Douglas Architects

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