The New York City-based architecture firm REX will be designing the new performing arts center for Brown University's campus in Providence, Rhode Island. Known for their portfolio of office and cultural projects - notably and recently including The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center - the firm aims to accommodate performances and events while serving as a hub for daily social interactions on campus within the 81,000 square-foot site. The building will become a central convening space of multimedia and performing arts for students, faculty, and visitors.
The site, directly opposite Diller Scofidio + Renfro's Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, lies amongst other arts-centered facilities to create a nexus of innovative practice and experimentation platforms for "intellectual and artistic collisions." The building and other new construction serve as a way to attract more students and faculty to the university for further sustained development in the arts.
Acting as a horizontal slice across the facade, the entrance lobby will be encased nearly entirely by glass order to create a visual dialogue with the surrounding buildings and foster a sense of openness. With expansive views of the Granoff Center and the green spaces in Brown's campus, the lobby becomes a more active and usable space throughout the day rather than limited to scheduled events. The amphitheater-like entrance steps draw the visitors from the ground level to the lobby's vestibule.
Diana Nelson, a primary donor who was interested in the flexibility of the lobby space, stated,
We expect [that the lobby] will be used in ways we might not even envision at this point. To see this become a space that is frequently activated and used creatively in a way that complements the broader mission of a dedicated performing arts center would make us tremendously happy.
The University expects to finalize the building’s design in the coming months. Construction is tentatively planned to start in 2019.
News via Brown University