I recently had the opportunity to visit Bing Thom’s much talked about and long-awaited Arena Stage renovation and expansion project in Washington, D.C. With slightly more than two years of construction completed, the $125 million, 200,000 square foot project is in the final stages and is due to open its doors on schedule for the inaugural 2010/11 theater season later this fall.
Bing Thom's Arena Stage Expansion
The Arena Stage sits on a triangular site at the intersection of 6th Street SW and Maine Avenue SW in the part of Southwest D.C. referred to as the Anacostia Waterfront. Although the footprint of the building consumes a majority of the site, the structure has a comfortable scale. The curving transparent facade is a 45 foot tall clear glass curtain wall system, which extends full height from grade to the underside of the roof, exposing the unique wood column structure behind. Horizontal Parallam wood members are integrated with the window frame system and connect gracefully back to the wood columns, providing an almost invisible support for the curtain wall. Beyond the 35,000 square feet of glass curtain wall is the large central lobby space inside.
A total of three theater venues (one new and two existing) are organized around the central lobby space, which also serves as the architectural focal point under the roof. The renovation and expansion project boldly encapsulate the original Fichandler Stage, an in-the-round auditorium with 683 seats, and the Kreeger Theater, a fan-shaped theater with 514 seats. Currently under construction, the Cradle, an oval theater with flexible seating for 200, will complement the renovated Fichandler Stage and Kreeger Theater.
One of the most significant features of the Arena Stage is the roof, which was constructed primarily of steel girders and trusses. The large sweeping cantilever proudly overlooks the waterfront to the south and west, with the northwest end pointing dramatically toward the Washington Monument. With the Arena Stage's symbolic design and significant positioning on the site, it is set to establish future development within the area.
Construction within the Fichandler Stage | February 2010
Basket weave detail of the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle walls | February 2010
Construction within the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle | February 2010
Parallam wood columns
Common lobby within Arena Stage
Exterior of Arena Stage | February 2010
Video Hard Hat Tour - Part 1: Video tour of Arena Stage expansion and renovation project
Video Hard Hat Tour - Part 2: Video tour of Arena Stage expansion and renovation project
Time-lapse video of the Arena Stage expansion and renovation project
David Ingold is a graduate of The Ohio State University School of Architecture and a member of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) with Construction Documents Technology (CDT) certification. With more than 18 years of experience, David brings a broad knowledge base and understanding of design and construction to a wide variety of project types. He is an accomplished senior project administrator with experience in developing all phases of architectural documents. David has performed key responsibilities as a project leader, specifications writer, and coordinator for projects of all types and complexities including low- and high-rise condominiums, sporting facilities, higher education and government research laboratories, manufacturing facilities, wastewater treatment plants, parking garages, and campus master plans. David’s greatest aspiration is to provide construction administrative services to fully execute project designs.Website: buildipedia.com/channels/on-site