|Location:||Washington, DC||Category:||Public Assembly|
|Cost:||26,700,000 USD||Size:||102,000 SF|
|Owner:||Shakespeare Theatre Company||Completed:||2007|
|Architect:||Diamond and Schmitt|
Harman Center for the Arts
Sidney Harman Hall is a new, 775-seat performance space that, when combined with the nearby Lansburgh Theatre, constitutes the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Harman Center for the Arts.
The hall occupies five and one-half floors of a new office building at 610 F Street, N.W. in Washington, D.C. The facility, designed to address the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s expanded programming mission, allows for a wide variety of staging configurations as well as for the presentation of dance and music events. Acoustically, the space has been rendered for the spoken word and also can be easily adapted for chamber music as well as live, amplified, or recorded music.
The building’s five-story glass facade features an eight-foot projected bay window extending outward, mimicking a screen or theatrical scrim, hanging over the F Street sidewalk below. The facade and window establish Harman Hall’s identity and provide a direct link to the vibrant surrounding neighborhood. The street-level entrance lobby area includes Sidney Harman Hall’s box office and gift shop. The orchestra lobby level is extended out over the sidewalk within the glass bay window. The balcony lobby level overlooks the orchestra lobby below, visually connecting the audiences on both levels.
From the beginning, the project was based on an abstract and innovative design proposal, one that called for intuition, versatility, tactfulness, and diligence. Many items used during construction, such as the gantry truss, a moveable and de-mountable facade for certain performances, were either the archetype of their kind or applications new to the veteran Clark Construction team.
The Dutch doors and moveable partitions are unique to Sidney Harman Hall and required a tremendous amount of attention and effort to complete. The project team, architect, and craftsmen formed a specific design plan to complete the installation within the allotted budget.
Another challenge during construction was the chair lift and wagon. The chair lift is a mechanically–driven platform vertically adjustable by combining a horizontal and vertical coil of metal – imagine fusing a “slinky”and a coil of steel strapping – that can withstand large loads. The accuracy of this system is to 1/32 of an inch, and required considerable amounts of coordination and adjustment with the pre-existing concrete opening. The chair wagon is powered by a pneumatic system that will allow the chairs to easily glide to their desired position depending upon the type of performance.
- Associated Builders and Contractors of Metro Washington Excellence in Construction Award - Specialty/Concrete Category
- Mid-Atlantic Construction Magazine's Best of '07 Awards - Best Cultural Project - Award of Merit
- Washington Building Congress (WBC) Craftsmanship Award - Finishes/Plaster