Theater for a New Audience, Polonsky Shakespeare Center / 2013

ArchitectH3 Hardy Collaboration

Structural EngineerRobert Silman Associates

Services EngineerFlack + Kurtz

ContractorF.J. Sciame Construction Company

This recently completed theater and cultural center, in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood, provides a permanent home for the renowned Shakespearean theater company, Theater for a New Audience. The 27,500 ft2 (2,555m2) facility provides a re-configurable 299-seat main theater, rehearsal space, a lobby and a café. The building geometry projects outward, implying a connection with the street that is further emphasized by a highly transparent glass curtain wall and storefront at this elevation. This transparent wall contrasts with, and is complementary to, the opaque metal cladding on the rest of the building, much like the contrasting relationship between the light-filled soaring lobby volume and the dark enclosed proscenium beyond. Steel tee-shaped mullions support large low-iron laminated insulated glass units and decorative aluminum fins at the exterior of the curtain wall. The ground floor facade is composed of frameless insulated glass units. The opaque cladding consists of aluminum composite panels with a gunmetal grey finish. Front consulted on the entire building enclosure, including the glazing and metal rain screen systems, from schematic design through construction administration, following the project to completion.