Construction is underway at the World Trade Center performing arts center
Rendering by REX
Construction of the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center is officially moving forward, with the first pieces of the center’s structural steel now visible above street level, according to CityRealty. The idea for an arts center at the World Trade Center was included in the original vision for rebuilding the area after Sept. 11, a plan proposed nearly 15 years ago. Designed by REX, the flexible “Mystery Box” will be wrapped in translucent marble, the same material used on the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and laminated with insulated glass. Named for Ronald O. Perelman who gifted $75 million to the project, the center will include 200,000 square feet of space, three halls and a rehearsal space, a restaurant and a gift shop.
Construction continues; photos via CityRealty
In February, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement for a 99-year lease between the Port Authority and the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center Inc. (PAC) for $1 per year. Funding disputes and a change of architects (PAC shelved Frank Gehry’s design for REX) delayed the project for years. Following the lease agreement, construction was able to begin. If the project stays on schedule, the center could open in 2020 or 2021 at the earliest.
During the day, the structure will show its “book-matched stone edifice, whose simplicity and traditional material acknowledge the solemnity of its context,” according to REX. Sunlight will shine through, illuminating the interior through the facade. At night, the glass exterior creates a glowing effect, “an invitingly subtle revelation of the creative energy inside.”
The Perelman Center will be able to be divided into three performance spaces, seating 499, 250 and 99 seats. In addition to these areas, the flexible Mystery Box will also have a rehearsal room that doubles as a fourth venue. Acoustic glass walls with black-out blinds surround rehearsal and auditorium spaces.
As the architecture firm writes on its website, “With its artistic freedom, openness to the community, pure form, and material duality, The Perelman Center galvanizes the culture of New York City’s lower downtown, and asserts its place amongst the World Trade Center’s constellation of world-class buildings.”
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All renderings via REX