BIG, William Rawn Associates and EOA Architects Selected to Design the Tennessee Performing Arts Center's New Performance Home

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) has selected an international architecture team to design its new performance home. Comprising BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), William Rawn Associates, and Nashville-based EOA Architects, the global architecture team will reimagine the 50-year-old performing arts non-profit on a different site from its original 1974 plot, part of the State-owned James K. Polk Cultural Center.

Co-leading the project's development, the partnership of architects represents a global portfolio of architectural designs. BIG, the internationally acclaimed architecture firm is known “for buildings that are programmatically and technically innovative”. William Rawn Associates is a national award-winning firm specializing in performing arts facilities with more than 30 years of experience in this field. On the other hand, Nashville-based EOA, a majority women-owned architectural, interior design, and urban planning firm with a regional focus, will provide support to ensure local expertise in the values and heritage of Tennessee and the incorporation of the community’s unique performing arts culture in the design process.

"Nashville is a city fueled by the creative energy of music and performing arts”, explains Bjarke Ingels, founder and creative director of BIG. “TPAC is already a lively and celebrated institution in the cultural fabric of Nashville – and together with the TPAC leadership team, William Rawn Associates, and EOA Architects, we are about to embark on a journey to imagine and design the future physical framework of TPAC that will be as open, inviting, integrated and inclusive as the institution already is”.

TPAC, which held its first live performances in September 1980, has established itself as a leading arts and culture destination. By moving to a new, larger facility, it aims to expand its program, showcasing world-renowned artists, touring Broadway shows, as well as ballet, opera, and dramatic theater performances from its three resident companies (Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, and Nashville Repertory Theatre), while enhancing its arts education programs. The new performing arts center will grow audiences by an estimated 33 percent and allow TPAC to increase programming, and expand educational and mission-driven activities.

Recently, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) was selected as one of the finalists in the Naval Heritage History and Command’s (NHHC) competition for the design of the new National Museum of the U.S. Navy., along with DLR Group, Frank Gehry Partners, Quinn Evans, and Perkins&Will. The firm also revealed in December of last year its first project in South America, a residential project in the capital of Ecuador.

Via BIG.

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "BIG, William Rawn Associates and EOA Architects Selected to Design the Tennessee Performing Arts Center's New Performance Home" 10 May 2023. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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