I'm still cranking for other classes--making a V2 rocket-shaped void for my Pynchon class...who knew negative space would be so time-consuming to build?--but wanted to share with you what I presented at my final review last Tuesday.
View from the water.
Approach from the east along Commercial Street.
My decon moment: louvers, skin, structure, and mass pulling away from each other to frame the 'backyard' (a grassy space/working courtyard that the scene shop opens up onto).
The studio theater in its glass box, overlooking the plaza.
The outdoor theater on the pier; performances can be viewed from the stair seating, from inside the below-grade lobby, from the plaza above, or from the boardwalk that crosses over it.
The orchestra rehearsal hall forms another performance space, viewable from a grassy terrace tucked between the concert hall and the water.
I also pinned up the following statement:
And my verbal presentation was something like this:
The idea of a public stage implies monumentality. This is expressed at a large scale by two figures in dialogue with each other on a raised plinth. Their monolithic nature suggests a singular experience of exterior and interior: you cross a public plaza and go inside to find the theater. This is, in fact, what happens. Each figure houses one of the main performance spaces, whose attitude echoes its exterior form: the concert hall is more vertical with the audience encircling the stage, while the theater has a shallower grade and the communality of everyone gathering on the same floor and facing the same direction.
But there are also less formal spaces for theatricality that play with variations on looking out and looking in. There are three flexible performance venues: the outdoor stage on the pier; the glass box that overlooks it to form the studio theater; and the orchestra rehearsal hall that is nestled within a grassy, stepped landscape at the water’s edge. Then there are spaces that allow for a spontaneous sense of theatricality: the music hall’s entrance atrium, cutting through ground and building; the theater’s red-carpet entrance stair and balcony; the pier walkways with their various views; the bocce courts overlooked by the theater lobby; the shallow pool whose glass bottom gives a window into the below-grade lobby; and the backyard pavilion, found through the deconstruction of the building’s skin and structure and providing a space for picnics and outdoor work supporting the scene shop.
My reviewers were Tom Beeby (former Dean at Yale), Michael McKinnell (architect of Boston's City Hall), Carol Burns (principal at Boston-based firm Taylor & Burns), Wes Jones (west coast architect and theorist), and Grace La (principal at Milwaukee-based firm La Dallman and current GSD option studio critic). Pretty formidable group. It was a great discussion in that they immediately and enthusiastically engaged with what I was trying to do, and they appreciated the main moves.
But there was also criticism of--
--well, of what? Before I recap what they said (or tell you what I'm proud/ashamed of myself), I'm curious to hear your guesses as to what they said, and/or what your critique would be.
Thanks for reading!
Lectures and exhibitions, news and events, now primarily from the Bay Area! Please note that all live blogs are abridged and approximate. If you want to see exactly what happened, in many cases a video of the event is posted online by the event's hosts.