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Theatre for a New Audience

Brooklyn, NY

This new 4-story building in downtown Brooklyn’s BAM Cultural District houses a 299-seat state-of-the-art theater whose movable and adjustable stage and seating arrangements provide greater flexibility for the decades-old company. The 35-foot-tall mainstage has three tiers of seating along three sides, one at orchestra level and two on balconies, closing the distance between performer and audience.

  • Photo credit: H3.
  • Photo credit: H3.
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Cantilevered Facade

The building’s grand architectural gesture is its cantilevered front facade, which allows the entire front lobby of the theater to hover above the plaza below.

The complete structure, including massive panes of glass, hangs from a pair of cantilevered steel trusses hidden in the building’s side walls.

Cantilevered Facade

The building’s grand architectural gesture is its cantilevered front facade, which allows the entire front lobby of the theater to hover above the plaza below.

The complete structure, including massive panes of glass, hangs from a pair of cantilevered steel trusses hidden in the building’s side walls.

This building is located on a noisy downtown site near underground subway lines. To address stringent acoustic and vibration criteria, the front two-thirds of the structure is separated from the foundation by rubber vibration isolators.

Although not a unique solution, the design and installation of the isolators was especially unusual. The pile-supported mat slab for the structure was created, then the isolators were placed, and finally a second structural slab spanning only on the isolators was “floated” just above the mat slab. To achieve a horizontal gap between the mat foundation slab and the acoustically-isolated lobby slab above, sand was vacuumed out from the void between the two.

Silman also designed the foundation to comply with NYC Transit Authority requirements for structures within the subway influence zone.

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