The Theater School

Unbuilt Design Award Submission

The product, and purpose, of the theater school are offered forth as a precious gift; presented to the public with a spirit of civic optimism and lively institutional stewardship.

Theater occupants and city residents view one another through an outer prismatic glass enclosure, behind which a changing tableau of posters, banners, set designs, theatre graphics, and lighting bring together the vibrant dynamism of the proscenium, outwards engaging the life of the street via a series of hinged panels which host changing displays.

The transformative, operable nature of the panels allows conversion relative to occurrences within the building as well as framing views of the city, of the audience and of visitors from the exterior.

The articulation of the building is distilled into three component parts: Theater(s), Lobby, and Classrooms /Office zones.

The primary elements of theater and school are spatially connected by the multi-story lobby near the center of the building.

The lobby is activated by vertical circulation, student lounges, elevators, freight lifts and an overhead gantry to hoist sets and equipment into the flex theater.

The dematerialization of the building brings light and life to its urban corner site.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Chicago, IL