REX Revealed as the Architects Redesigning the World Trade Center Performing Arts Complex

November 20, 2015

Image pointing to the site of the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center. Rendering by DBOX

Ever since Frank Gehry and his design for the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center (PACWTC) site got the boot last year, many have been eager to know who would be taking the helm in his place. Since July, the PACWTC has been working with an anonymous architectural firm to hash out a new concept, and now, nearly five months later, the board has finally released the name of the lead architect: Brooklyn-based studio REX led by Joshua Prince-Ramus, a former protégé of starchitect Rem Koolhaas.

PACWTC chairman John Zucotti said in a statement, “The selection of REX and the Lower Manhattan District Council’s renewed commitment are critical milestones in our collective effort to create a vibrant new cultural and community anchor for all of Lower Manhattan. We are now two important steps closer to completing the World Trade Center and fully realizing our vision of Lower Manhattan as the world’s most dynamic, 24/7 urban community.”

performing arts center at the world trade center REX joshua prince-ramus

The design concept will not be released until spring 2016, but the center’s director, Maggie Boepple, told the Wall Street Journal, “that the facade will be semitransparent; you won’t see faces at night, but you will see movement.”

Prince-Ramus added that his goal is to create a building “that fosters artistic risk” and lets “the artistic director control the experience from the moment you enter the lobby, to getting to your seat and back out the door.”

We also know from previous reports that the space will feature 80,000 square feet across three to four stories, all dedicated to theater, dance, music, opera, and film, which includes a new home for the Tribeca Film Festival.

The complete Performing Arts Center project team includes Davis Brody Bond as the executive architect, charcoalblue as theater consultant, and DBI Projects as construction manager. Other firms in the running for the project had included Henning Larsen Architects and UNStudio.

Last week, the  Lower Manhattan District Council released the first $10 million of the $99 million they’ve pledged to the project. The whole thing, as 6sqft previously reported, will not exceed a budget of $200 million; the other half will be privately funded. The center is expected to open in 2019.


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