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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City, Utah by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

 
June 17th, 2018 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater began as an urban master plan designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects for an entire city block in Salt Lake City. Multiple stakeholders, the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City, and private developers were involved in enhancing the development of the area, which included placing an air rights office tower and a performing arts center on the same block.

The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater is a contemporary, state-of-the-art theater located in Salt Lake City’s lively arts district. The luminescent and transparent lobby façade creates a beacon of activity on Main Street, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

  • Architects: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
  • Project: George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater
  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  • Software used: Rhino, Revit

An office tower, 111 Main, rises above the arts center, and a passageway was created to link Regent Street and parking garage with the tower’s lobby and Main Street, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

In Salt Lake City, blocks average around 660’x660’—in New York City, the short side of the blocks average 265’. This provided a critical challenge in developing connectivity and the creation of active exterior and interior public spaces to invite pedestrians inward while maintaining the integrity of the city.

The black box theater projects over the Regent Street public plaza, which doubles as a loading court for the theater or for accommodating events, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

The Regent Street Plaza illuminates at night, extending outward to Regent Street for after-show public gatherings and events, which connects two important city destinations: The City Creek Center to the north and Gallivin Plaza to the south, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

After the completion of the master plan, the 2,500-seat, state-of-the-art George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater was designed as an urban performing arts center, celebrating the architecture of Salt Lake City and the landscapes and skies of Utah. In the tradition of other PCPA projects in cities like Charlotte, Cincinnati, Dayton, Chicago, and Madison, each building is characterized by the need to create an important landmark identity and, most importantly, to enhance and fit into the city’s fabric. This challenges the designers to address the technical and architectural demands of a performing arts center while elegantly contributing to the character of the surrounding city.

The design of the Eccles Theater emulates the rhythm of the surrounding Wasatch Mountains with definitive horizontal and vertical elements and warm-colored panels, gold-toned perforated metal, and points of light to make the space sparkle, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

The details of the Delta Performance Hall celebrate the terraced topography of Utah’s canyons and night skies, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

The building has two major parallel “fronts” of differing but related character. From Main Street, visitors enter the theater lobby/winter garden, which has the ability open up to the street. The theater’s primarily glass Main Street façade recalls the architectural elements of Salt Lake City architecture. A large L-shaped frame of limestone, a material used in prominent Salt Lake City buildings, simultaneously separates and unifies the performing arts center and the office tower above it. A smaller frame defines the glowing and transparent lobby winter garden.

The multilevel Eccles Theater lobby integrates colorful glass rails by glass artist Paul Housberg, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

The Eccles dance warmup room is visible from Regent Street, sharing the activity of the arts center with the city outside, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

The Regent Street façade is more casual than its Main Street counterpart. Retail shops, the rehearsal room lobby, and the entrance to the Galleria surround the stage door, which would normally be concealed from view. On the south end of the building is the Regent Street Plaza, which doubles as a loading area and event space. The acoustically-glazed black box theater projects over the public space and the large loading gates. This functional space during loading and unloading converts to a lively event space at all other times, hosting parties, performances, farmer’s markets, and other public functions.

An experimental black box theater overlooks McCarthey Plaza and is used for events and performances, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Theater guests enjoying the upper outdoor terrace, which looks out over Main Street and the city, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

At the heart of the complex is the large proscenium theater residing off the main street lobby, which allows for accommodation of the backstage and other support spaces off Regent Street. This makes the tall lobby space highly visible to the street, creating an active urban presence. Site specific public artwork helps to energize the space. The theater itself recalls the terraced Utah landscape, a composition of warm colored panels, gold-toned perforated metal, and points of light that make the space sparkle. The ceiling looks like the night sky with tiny, star-like lights seemingly suspended in dark, acoustic material that conceals the banks of stage lighting and mechanical equipment above.

The undersides of the balconies are finished with plaster, and the curving balcony walls are clad in light-colored perforated metal panels with shimmering gold fabric behind, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

UPAC-groundfloor, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

UPAC-siteplan, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

UPAC-2nd floor, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

UPAC- Section, Image Courtesy © Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

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Categories: Art Center, Event space, Gallery, Lobby, Performing Arts Center, Plaza, public spaces, Revit, Rhino, Theater

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