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    Eric Laignel; Robert Benson

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    Eric Laignel; Robert Benson

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    Eric Laignel; Robert Benson

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    Eric Laignel; Robert Benson

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    Eric Laignel; Robert Benson

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    Eric Laignel; Robert Benson

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    Eric Laignel; Robert Benson

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    Eric Laignel; Robert Benson

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2020 WAN Awards entry: Boston University Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre - Elkus Manfredi Architects

Copy taken from 2020 entry
23 Jun 2020

Boston University Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre by Elkus Manfredi Architects is an entry in the Education Category of the 2020 WAN Awards

This multifunctional studio theatre with production and support spaces provides the University’s School of Theatre with a 21st-century learning environment for collaboration and experimentation. With its dramatically reflective façade framed by a delicate concrete scrim, the theatre complex both delights and instructs, giving architectural form to Hamlet’s injunction to the players “to hold, as ‘twere, the mirror up to nature.”

This quotation from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, emblazoned above the proscenium arch at the University’s former theatre, has long resonated with the School. The power of reflection as social commentary and critique provided direct inspiration for the Booth Theatre and is most evident in the design of the main façade. Enveloped in a mesh-like ultra-high-performance concrete scrim that evokes the frame of a proscenium theatre, the lobby’s mirrorlike 47-foot glass curtainwall cants forward 14 degrees to engage and reflect passersby, metaphorically casting them on stage. Set on Commonwealth Avenue, the campus’s spine and a major Boston thoroughfare, the façade is a backdrop for life on the arts plaza and street below.

The drama of the reflective exterior contrasts with the wood-clad central volume of the flexible 273-seat studio theatre within. Around this triple-height volume are layered the lobby, support spaces, offices, a light and sound lab, and various studios. The production center located to the rear is a theatrical assembly line of linearly organized double-height shops for set-making. Remarking on its nearly limitless possibilities for creation and exploration, one faculty member observed with delight: “the space challenges and provokes in equal measure.”

All the information about how to enter the 2020 WAN Awards is here.  

We are very happy to offer support so please don’t hesitate to email Georgia, WAN Awards Event Coordinator with any questions at Georgia.Baily@haymarket.com.  

Last year more than 40 countries took part in the WAN Awards with strong showings from Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific. And we saw some truly outstanding projects, take a look at the winners from last year here

 

Key Facts

Architecture
2020 Entry
Future Projects Education
United States

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