Wednesday, February 16, 2011

City Performance Hall Takes Shape In Dallas Arts District

By Stephen Sharpe, Hon. TSA

Construction continues on the SOM-designed City Performance Hall, the final public component of the recently re-invigorated Dallas Arts District. Originally planned to open in 2010, the multipurpose venue is now scheduled for completion in mid-2012. The project was funded through a City of Dallas bond package approved by voters in 2006.

The two-story structure will include a 750-seat theater, two 200-seat theaters, art galleries, a café, a bookshop, an enclosed garden, and educational and meeting spaces. Corgan Associates is the architect of record.

Sited at the southeast edge of the Arts District, the City Performance Hall is rising next door to the Wyly Theatre (REX/OMA with Kendall/Heaton Architects) and cater-corner from the Winspear Opera House (Foster and Partners with Kendall/Heaton Architects). Those two buildings, both completed in late 2009, brought international prestige to the city and their owner, the AT&T Performing Arts Center. In fact, the Wyly is the only Texas building receiving an AIA Honor Award for Architecture this year.

Construction in November 2010; photo courtesy Corgan Associates

A visit to the site in February made me eager to review SOM’s rendering to figure out the location of the front door and the building’s various other parts. As you can see from the rendering above, the entrance will open to Flora Street, which is the spine that runs southwest-northeast through the center of the Arts District from the Dallas Museum of Art (1984; Edward Larrabee Barnes with Pratt, Box & Henderson) to the mixed-use commercial complex known as One Arts Plaza (2008; Morrison Seifert Murphy with Corgan).

The City Performance Space will face the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (2008; Allied Works with Booziotis & Company Architects) across the street, with both buildings flanking the southeastern entry to the Arts District.

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