The City Council of Perm, the planning commission, and members of the public gave their approval for a wHY-designed theater at the center of a major cultural revitalization initiative, led by the city’s mayor. The project will be a collaboration between wHY’s New York office and Buildings Workshop, and wHY’s Landscape Workshop, in order to generate a landmark for the emerging arts district.
Located on a geological outcrop where the city meets the valley, the design will “reincorporate both the river and the landscape into the city’s cultural identity, creating a flowing, dynamic space that places art and nature at the center of urban life”.
With a very defined strategy for the Perm’s theater, the architects plan to “explode the existing typology of the closed-off theater structure, creating a building which is porous and open to all, with views of the city on all sides”, envisioning a monumental cultural landmark for the arts that extends to the park.
The design of the building reinterprets “the movement of dance and music and the palette of materials references ancient geology of the region and the legacy of copper mining”. Creating a dynamic focal point for the city, the square plaza is an organically curved surface that welcomes passers-by and encourages outdoor discovery. A sense of continuity is generated with the neighboring park with extended paths and landscapes.
Specialized in designing for the arts, wHY’s portfolio includes the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, and Grand Rapids Art Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. wHY ARCHITECTURE, the multi-disciplinary team of 40 creative architects and designers based in Los Angeles and New York City, has five interdependent studios: Ideas, Objects, Buildings, Landscape, and Museums. Working in collaboration, wHY’s Buildings Workshop, directed by Andrija Stojic, will be in charge of the revitalization and the ground-up design whereas wHY’s Landscape Workshop will create the park and plaza.