amphibian stage productions
black box theatre
client: Amphibian Stage Productions represented by Kathleen Culebro
location: 1277 S. Henderson St. Fort Worth, TX
area: 25,350 sq ft
This mixed-use building employs vertical stacking to utilize optimal positioning within the building site. The site and program were selected and developed through meetings with Amphibian Stage Productions and resulted in a program with a focus on a black box theatre and its supporting services, but also included a café and residential lofts in order to increase the property’s revenue and public circulation.
The placement of the black box theatre breaks from the traditional approach and is pushed out to the street face corner where its specific location and geometry are visually relatable to the patrons, instead of being ambiguously placed within the supporting facilities. Because the café’s success is significantly dependent on its visibility and accessibility to visitors on the same corner, the theatre is then elevated in order to create a space at ground level. This further defines the geometry of the theatre to visitors and generates ample shading to the café and sidewalk below, thus engaging pedestrians with the space.
The additional facilities are enclosed by an undulating surface that wraps around the building. Within this, elevations are pushed backward or pulled forward and raised or lowered to identify the individual spaces. The single exception to this enclosure are the residential lofts which are instead elevated and visually broken from the primary building mass, identifying their residential purpose from the building. The material use of concrete, stained limestone, and glazing unify the different spaces, while its application further communicates the public or private function.
Within the building, the spaces continue to identify their purpose through volumetric changes and material application. The theatre lobby features a curvilinear geometry which is initiated by a grand staircase and continued into the balcony above. This design, learned from Oscar Niemeyer, activates the space and signifies its importance. Lastly, accounting for the client’s concern of developing structures nearby, the lofts’ views are turned inwards to face the building’s climate-appropriate green roof featuring blue grama, red yucca, and prairie tea plants.
Selected by review panel.