Bushman Dreyfus Architects

Bushman Dreyfus Architects

Charlottesville, VA


Live Arts Theater

The design of the lobby at Live Arts maintains the delicate balance of elegance and grit that this acclaimed volunteer theater in downtown Charlottesville is known for.
The construction was completed in only three months. In that time, mechanical and electrical systems were redone, lighting was redesigned, and a new box office, monumental stair, sky bar, branding wall, and custom furnishings were added.

“Real materials, assembled by hand” is the design theme. Perforated aluminum guardrail panels diffuse warm LED light creating a beautiful veiling effect in contrast with cool color temperature of the ceiling uplighting. The ceiling is a rigorously composed and highly technical assembly. It supports a lighting design flexible enough to support the four modes of activity in the building: teaching, rehearsals, intermissions during performances and after-hours entertaining. Perforated panels appear either opaque or transparent depending on the angle of view, and mask ducts and other infrastructure. Sliding wall panels of the Sky Bar are made from reclaimed spalted pecan boards. The treads of the monumental stair are cast from high performance concrete. The handrail is fabricated from stainless steel in contrast with the remainder which is framed in raw hot-rolled steel with a waxed finish.

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Status: Built
Location: Charlottesville, VA, US
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Photography: Stephen Barling, Steven Miller