Architecture & Art: A Matter of Taste

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Utah PAC design team at workAny new performing arts center being planned within an urban environment must answer a question: How much of the existing, surrounding architecture should be embraced, in an effort to blend the old and the new? Or should the new facility be a radical departure, calling attention to itself and celebrating its novelty? And can “novelty for novelty’s sake” actually push the boundaries too far, alienating some of the very audience the facility hopes to attract?

This article about the Salt Lake City Main Street theater illustrates one approach. Please follow this link to read the article about the unveiling of its design and watch a brief interview with some key players.

Just like classical music, all architecture was once new. Our involvement with performing arts facilities around the world runs the gamut – from the refurbishment of a historical theatre to the construction of an avant-gard concert hall wrapped in an undulating façade – and everything in between.

In the final analysis, judgment of architecture is a personal matter, like evaluating a sculpture, painting or piece of music. What’s most important is that performing arts facilities continue to generate interest, discussion, resources, passion and attention – both pro and con. Art can survive all of those challenges, and has throughout history. What kills art is apathy.

Question: What recent renovation/construction of a performing arts facility inspires or repels you, and why?

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