This project was a collaboration with Deborah Dance Theater, a local dance performance company, and The 1+, a website which connects architects to community-based non-profits.
The design for the future location of the theater takes cues from the raw and industrial qualities of the existing space at Project Artaud, a historic art community-based in the Mission District in San Francisco. The large spatial volume lends itself to a vertical stacking of spaces within the existing concrete box, with a series of open mezzanines allowing light to filter through the expansive steel windows that characterize the Artaud building. Architecturally, our intent is to keep the improvements as a neutral entity to the range of theatrical elements that will take place inside of it.
The ground floor holds the performance theater space and is designed with the flexibility to allow for a range of programmatic iterations. Furniture elements such as foldable seating risers and chairs, rolling partitions, and a non-obstructive structural system will give the users the flexibility to transform this space as necessary for practicing, performance, and other uses. The semi-transparent rolling partitions serve as a unique design feature, filtering light through perforated voids and segmenting an entry lobby for performance times and storage during non-performance periods.
The mezzanine levels are designed to be function-driven: a sound and lighting control booth, an office space, a warm-up space for dancers, and storage for costumes and sets, all of which look out onto the ground floor space below. We intentionally kept the massing and structure minimal here to allow for penetration of natural light throughout the space to the main space.
The new Dance Theater at Suite 124 will provide us with a blank canvas for our art to take place in an unrestricted, yet highly functional forum in Project Artaud community, in a city where we started. The design for our future space intends to be timeless in both the design aesthetic and flexible functionality, and allow the program to evolve for decades to come.