REVEALED: World Trade Center Performing Arts Center will be a translucent marble cube

September 8, 2016

After stalling for years, the $243 million World Trade Center Performing Arts Center started to make headway in recent months, first with a decision to go with REX as the designers and then with a $75 million gift from Billionaire businessman and philanthropist Ronald O. Perelman (who is gaining naming rights). And finally, the official renderings have been revealed, and they showcase a nearly 90,000-square-foot, translucent veined marble cube that both stands out as an impressive piece of cultural architecture and co-exists with the other structures on the WTC complex such as the 9/11 Museum and transportation hub.

According to a press release from developer Silverstein Properties, “The Perelman Center is inspired by the Center’s mission to defy experiential expectations. Its design cues were taken from [an] aim to foster artistic risk, incubate original productions, provide unparalleled flexibility, and deliver the most technologically advanced and digitally connected spaces for creative performance.”

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The marble comes from the same Vermont quarry that was used for the U.S. Supreme Court building and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. It will be laminated on either side with insulated glass that, by day, lets light into the interior and, by night, creates a glowing effect.

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REX refers to their design as a “mystery box,” referring to its flexible nature that was conceived with theater consultants Charcoalblue. The three auditoria (with 99, 250, and 499 seats), along with a rehearsal room that doubles as a fourth venue, can be combined “to form seven additional unique performance spaces for a total of eleven arrangements.”

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Another interesting tidbit from the press release is that Brooklyn-native Barbara Streisand will serve as chair of the Center’s board.

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Aerial Render © K18

The Perelman Center, which is the final piece of the WTC master plan, is expected to open in 2020, when it will “produce and premiere theater, dance, music, film, opera, and multidisciplinary works,” as well as host the Tribeca Film Festival.


All images via Luxigon unless otherwise noted

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