The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater began as an urban master plan designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects for an entire city block in Salt Lake City. Multiple stakeholders, the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City, and private developers were involved in enhancing the development of the area, which included placing an air rights office tower and a performing arts center on the same block. In Salt Lake City, blocks average around 660’x660’—in New York City, the short side of the blocks average 265’. This provided a critical challenge in developing connectivity and the creation of active exterior and interior public spaces to invite pedestrians inward while maintaining the integrity of the city After the completion of the master plan, the 2,500-seat, state-of-the-art George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater was designed as an urban performing arts center, celebrating the architecture of Salt Lake City and the landscapes and skies of Utah. In the tradition of other PCPA projects in cities like Charlotte, Cincinnati, Dayton, Chicago, and Madison. Each of these buildings is characterized by the need to create an important landmark identity and, most importantly, to enhance and fit into the city’s fabric. This challenges the designers to address the technical and architectural demands of a performing arts center while elegantly contributing to the character of the surrounding city.
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