All images courtesy of REX.
Plans have been revealed for a new performing arts complex to be built at the World Trade Centre site in New York. designed by architecture studio REX, the Perelman Centre will produce and premiere theatre, dance, music, film, opera, and multidisciplinary works, while offering a wide range of amenities for both visitors and residents.
REX’s concept for the Perelman centre is inspired by the institution’s mission to ‘defy experiential expectations’. The centre’s primary aims are to: foster artistic risk, incubate original productions, provide unparalleled flexibility, and deliver the most technologically advanced and digitally connected spaces for creative performance.
The Perelman Centre is an immensely flexible canvas on which directors can script the patrons’ entire experience from their very entrance into the building,’ explains Joshua Prince-ramus, principal of REX. ‘It is a ‘mystery box,’ a constant source of surprise for theatergoers and the community. We are honored to be involved with such an important project on such an important site.’
Considered the final piece of the World Trade Centre masterplan, the performing arts centre will join other landmark structures, such as SOM’s Freedom Tower and Santiago Calatrava’s Transit Hub. The building, rotated to accommodate below-grade constraints, is wrapped in translucent, veined marble — sourced from the same vermont quarry as the U.S. supreme court building and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial — laminated within insulated glass.
By day, the volume appears as an elegant stone edifice, designed to acknowledge the solemnity of its context. However, after dark, silhouettes of human movement and theatrical configurations animate the glowing enclosure, revealing the creativity inside. The approximately 90,000 square-foot building contains three auditoria (499, 250, and 99 person), as well as a rehearsal room that can double as a fourth venue. The auditoria can combine to form seven additional performance spaces for a total of eleven arrangements — including the rehearsal room venue — which can all adopt manifold stage-audience configurations.
‘Today the World Trade Centre site stands as a monument to our nation’s ability to prevail in its darkest hour, ’Governor Cuomo said. ‘The Perelman Performing Arts Centre will highlight the values that make New York exceptional – the celebration of diverse cultures from every corner of the globe. This centre will help complete the renewal of Lower Manhattan and, on behalf of all New Yorkers, I welcome this institution and thank those who are working to make this vision a reality.’