FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Live Nation, a global live entertainment company and producer, announced that its latest performance venue, The Terminal, will open in November 2021 in Houston, Texas. The 5,000 capacity venue will serve as the cultural anchor of POST Houston, Lovett Commercial’s redevelopment of the historic Barbara Jordan Post Office into a hub for culture, food, shopping and recreation. OMA’s design features a large, flat general assembly area with a tribune of raked seating hovering above the main floor.
The flat floor allows for limitless arrangements and complex scenography. The tribune of fixed seats clad in fiberglass grating provides expansive views and—behind and below it—a sheltered space where visitors can gather away from the main act without being completely removed from it, like students hanging out under the bleachers during a homecoming game.
“A performance venue is a vessel for gathering and a machine for generating spectacle, but beyond the stage and the central crowd, the energy of the show can often be shrouded in darkness. We wanted The Terminal to be a place where you could be simultaneously connected to the stage and creatively disengaged, so we tried to bring the performance and its aura to every corner of the venue,” said Jason Long, partner in charge of the project.
Within the venue, a series of spaces leading to the main performance are defined by industrial materials and ephemeral lighting effects. The lobby bar is enveloped by aluminized fabric heat shields—a nod to NASA and Houston’s space history. Like an airlock, the lobby provides a sealed environment for decompression and building anticipation. Stainless steel grids supported by cattle fence insulators line the walls to provide armature for merchandise and posters.
Beyond the lobby, a double-height polycarbonate wall forms a translucent threshold dividing the main space into two zones—a band of circulation to the west and a central void to the east. The west band caters to intimate gatherings and social encounters while the void is adaptable and offers room for mass spectacle. Within the translucent band, a bright yellow stair links the different audience levels and culminates in a hidden lounge where a landscape of seating encourages playful interactions.
"Live music shows can be so personal, ranging from collective experiences to very introspective ones. Enhancing this diversity became a core of our design approach,” said Salome Nikuradze, Project Architect.
“The Terminal will be a great addition to the live music scene in Houston giving artists and fans more options to connect at concerts,” said Sherri Sosa, President, Venue Nation. “We look forward to The Terminal bringing hundreds of shows to the city once it opens its doors, not only delivering some great live music but also creating new jobs for the community.”
OMA worked in collaboration with local partner Powers Brown Architecture in the execution of The Terminal and POST Houston.