In September, New York City will open a new performing arts center in Lower Manhattan, two decades after the master plan for Ground Zero called for a cultural component there.
At a cost of $500 million, including $130 million donated by former mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the Perelman Performing Arts Center (dubbed PAC NYC) is a 138-foot-tall cube-shaped building that glows at night. It’s covered in nearly 5,000 half-inch-thick, translucent marble tiles laminated within insulated glass. While allowing light to pass through it, this veil provides thermal, acoustic, security, air and water filtration performance.
Designed by REX, the 129,000-sf building is organized into three levels: play (top), performer (middle), and public (bottom). On the top level, three theater spaces (with 499, 250, and 99 seats) can be joined to create multiple different configurations, with the walls and floors moving to accommodate various events.
The middle level has all the support areas for artists and performances, such as the trap, dressing rooms, green room, musician room, quiet room, wig storage, and costume shop.
The bottom public level includes a lobby with information desk and coat check, and a restaurant/bar that can serve as a cabaret, a dance podium, a performance art space, or a community space for events such as voting. The restaurant/bar, used during performance intermissions, extends north to an exterior terrace.
PAC NYC’s outside staircase brings patrons and visitors from the lobby down to the street below.
REX’s design was created in collaboration with executive architect Davis Brody Bond, theater consultant Charcoalblue, and acoustician Threshold Acoustics. Rockwell Group designed the interior of the lobby and restaurant.