Civic Asset + excite downtown + center of activity

  • COST



    Site Selection, Building Program Verification, Conceptual Architectural Design

Local leaders around the country have come to realize that performing arts venues are important civic assets that strengthen and animate their downtown areas.  The list of benefits the new Cultural Arts Center will provide Herndon begins with the obvious – it will provide the residents with a dynamic venue for a diverse range of live performances as well as social functions.  Our goal was to design a flexible institution that can support both the Elden Street Players as well as the larger local arts community.  While theaters act as natural gathering points that revolve around the performances they host, their lobbies and public spaces have recently become venues for other related and unrelated social events.  The drama that is physically expressed in most theaters is equally appropriate as a backdrop to many other social occasions such as parties, dances, civic meetings, fundraisers and the like.

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Masterplanning focused on creating not only built assets but also social assets that reach into many different parts of the community. In addition, the center was imagined to bring a new and diverse group of residents into the downtown. As a new center of social activity, the cultural arts center could act much as an anchor store in a mall would. The symbiosis between theaters and restaurants is well documented, but this can be extended to galleries, coffee shops boutiques, etc. We worked with the Town, the board of directors and the user groups to identify the site that will most successfully incorporate the needs of the facility with the Town’s urban design goals, second to sponsor a design process the articulates and satisfies all of the diverse needs of the Art Center’s many constituents and finally to create an economic plan that will allow the Center to be funded and built in phases.

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