- Project Name
- Coca-Cola Stage at Atlanta’s Alliance Theater
- Trahan Architects
- Alliance Theater
- Project Scope
- 70,000 sq. feet
- Year Completed
- Shared by
- Madeleine D'Angelo
- Project Status
An abridged version of the below paragraph appeared in the May/June 2021 issue of ARCHITECT as part of expanded coverage of the 2021 AIA Interior Architecture Awards.
With an office in the jazz mecca of New Orleans, Trahan Architects presumably knows a thing or two about music. In its design for the Coca-Cola Stage at Atlanta’s Alliance Theater, the team shows it also knows how to craft an exciting space for listening. The concert hall aims not just for technical superiority, but also to create a social environment that brings together audience members and performers alike. For the material and structural keynote of their scheme, the firm chose oak. Cut into slender ribbons and hand-curved to form softly contoured seating tiers, railings, and acoustical panels, the oak strips lining the interior create the sense of a soft, secure container. In fact, the aesthetic was inspired by the work of a local ceramicist, rooting the project in the traditions of Atlanta’s diverse community. The architects then blurred the customary distinction between orchestra and balcony seating by removing any separation, thereby doing away with a division that was once a major instrument of racial segregation in Georgia and beyond. Superb acoustics further ensure that everyone, from the front row to the last, gets an equal share of the experience.
Project: Coca-Cola Stage at Atlanta’s Alliance Theater, Atlanta
Architects: Trahan Architects. Trey Trahan, Leigh Breslau, Scott Melançon, Brad McWhirter, Robbie Eleazer, James Babin, Conway Pedron, Ayesha Husain, Sarah Hussaini, Wenyun Qian, Andrew Fu (project team)
Collaborators: Matthias Pliessnig, CW Keller and Associates, Uzun + Case, Theatre Projects Consultants, Talaske Group, DLB Associates Consulting Engineers, Cost+Plus, Fisher Marantz Stone, Thirst, Jensen Hughes, Lerch Bates, Leonid Furmansky
This project was named a winner in the 2021 AIA Interior Architecture Awards. From the Alliance Theater:
Trahan Architects was selected to reinvent The Memorial Arts Building, home of the Alliance Theater, the Atlanta Symphony, as well as educational and administrative facilities. The Woodruff Arts Center is distinguished by remarkable architecture designed by two Pritzker Prize winning architects, Richard Meier, FAIA, and Renzo Piano, FAIA. Trahan’s design concept focuses on providing visual access to the Theater and the Symphony from adjacent Peachtree Street, the city’s main boulevard.
The initial phase of work will include a complete transformation of the Alliance Stage, the theater’s rehearsal spaces, education spaces, and artist support facilities. The new theater design encourages visual and emotional connections between patrons with a design that wraps the room in audience. It minimizes the separation between orchestra and balcony levels, thereby rejecting the unjust social divisions they once represented. Trahan Architects’ design includes significant enhancements that include:
“Our patrons have become accustomed to emotionally transformative theater on our stage, and now through the exceptional quality of the design, our architecture will match and enhance that artistry,” said Alliance General Manager, Mike Schleifer. “The upgrades to the Alliance stage and audience chamber will inspire even more producing partners to bring projects to Atlanta for world‐class premieres.”
“The design of the Alliance Theater will transform the patron experience,” said Trahan. “The theater will truly be a one‐of‐a‐kind place for creating community in the performance space. The entire audience chamber, enhanced by state‐of‐the‐art theatrical systems, is tightened and slipped closer to the stage, which amplifies the sense of intimacy.”
The Alliance Theater’s renovation is part of Phase I of the Woodruff Arts Center’s Transformation Campaign. The $100 million Campaign has three goals: to strengthen the endowments of the Alliance Theater, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and High Museum of Art; to activate the campus through free community programming; and to transform the Alliance Theater.
Trahan Architects was selected for the project design from among 30 competing firms. Between Trahan and Breslau, featured projects include the design of the Louisiana State Museum, the Dallas City Performance Hall, the Chicago Symphony Center, and the Mercedes‐Benz Superdome renovation after its devastation by Hurricane Katrina.