brown University performing arts center
providence, rhode island

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Project Team

Owner
Brown Arts Initiative

Architect
REX

Theatre Consultant
Theatre Projects Consultants

Brown University aspires to be a worldwide destination for students who want to fully integrate performing, visual, and literary arts into a complete liberal arts education. To further this goal, the Brown Arts Initiative was established in 2015, and quickly identified the need for a theatre, an experimental media  room, and a recital hall while also fulfilling its orchestra’s 250-year dream for a worthy venue. With only enough site for a single room, these four functions are combined into one building.

The challenge of meeting these disparate needs is met by varying not just absorption but the intimacy of the room itself. Side walls shift inward to narrow the room by nearly twenty feet for recitals; the room length can be halved for immersive media; and the ceiling can be deployed in a wide spectrum of heights and shapes. The sum total is a room always shaped to keep its audiences close to the action. Audio/Video systems are as flexible as the room itself, allowing for amplification to professional touring standards overlaid with multi-channel ambisonics, motion capture, cinema, immersive video projection, and presentation systems.

Acting, dance, and orchestra rehearsal studios round out the program, each with flexible seating, a pipe grid, and AV systems to allow performances and lectures as well.

The Archinect Sessions podcast interviewed the leadership team responsible for the project – Joshua Ramus of REXCarl Giegold of Threshold Acoustics and David Rosenburg of Theatre Projects

Listen Here.