Writers Theatre, Chicago by Studio Gang Architects

Energizing the daily life of its community, Writers Theatre is designed to forefront the potential of live theater to unite people across boundaries through shared experiences.

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Writers戏院是芝加哥郊区格兰克非常知名的戏剧公司。1992年,公司创立于一个书店的里屋,Writers从一开始就以亲密性为主要的建筑审美特征。2003年,Writers在格兰克的女性图书俱乐部建立了一个可容纳108个座位更大的空间,但是这个新的地点很快又给自己创造了新的挑战。尽管有一票忠实热情的观众,但是公司经济前仍然没有起色。他们近乎每晚都上演戏剧,但是只有少部分的座位被售卖,与此同时演出戏剧的消费却与日俱增,他们需要更大更灵活的空间改变现状。

Writers Theatre is a popular theater company in the Chicago suburb of Glencoe Illinois. Founded in the back room of a bookstore in 1992, Writers has embraced intimacy as its hallmark aesthetic since the very beginning. In 2003, Writers established a larger space at the Woman’s Library Club of Glencoe, but, at 108 seats, this new venue soon imposed challenges of it own. The company faced bleak economic prospects despite an enthusiastic and committed audience. They were playing close to capacity night after night, but with very few seats to sell and production costs steadily rising, they were in need of a larger, more flexible space to allow for their growth.

▽Writers剧院全景,Writers Theatre External View

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与此同时,在芝加哥北面20英里远的Glencoe,这个有着近乎9000个居民的郊区正企划着一个极具野心的规划,计划在城中心建立更多文化经济的空间。而这时,女性图书馆俱乐部正急需大的修缮。面临种种情况,Writers决定抓住机会在原地点建造一个戏剧中心,并同时推动市中心的发展。戏院每季35000个观众,都对戏院持续高水准的演出和建筑亲切的艺术工艺赞赏有加。在这个新剧院,Writers在保持这个优点的同时也希望扩大他们的观众群体,提升他们的设施以吸引更加全球化的艺术家群体,与公众建立更多的联系。最终的设计,通透灵活,旨在激活Glencoe市中心的区民生活,创造一个更加开放温暖的空间促进人们的交流分享。

Meanwhile, Glencoe—a suburb 20 miles north of Chicago with a population of approximately 9,000 residents—embarked on an ambitious master plan to integrate more cultural and commercial spaces in the downtown area. At the same time, the existing but deteriorated Woman’s Library Club building was in serious need of repair. Partnering with the Woman’s Library Club and the Village of Glencoe, Writers seized the opportunity to build a custom theater center and catalyst for downtown development on the Library Club site. The company, which plays to an audience of 35,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry. With their new permanent home, Writers wanted to ensure these hallmark traits were maintained while also accommodating a growing audience base, improving their facilities for their global community of artists, and creating new relationships with the public. The resulting design, with its transparency and flexibility, is intended to energize daily life in downtown Glencoe, creating an open, welcoming space where the potential of theater to unite people across boundaries through shared experience is rendered visible.

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剧院的一角是一个公众聚集空间,是剧院的大厅,也是一个非正式演出排练的空间,观众也可在这里接触到剧目,还可以用来举办一些活动。两个表演场地,一个是可容纳250个座位的主表演台; 一个是99个座位的黑箱场地。二楼的走廊可看到市中心的市景,湖景,林景,其主要结构是木头的空腹桁架,在主结构挂着轻质木材的划分。在温暖的天气里,这个活动中心面向周边的公园和市中心开放,促进剧院和周边社区的互动交流。在晚上,戏院像一个灯笼一样散发着光芒,吸引着Glencoe市中心居民的注意力。

The theater is anchored by a public gathering space that serves as a lobby as well as an informal space for performance, rehearsals, and audience outreach programs, and a formal space for events. Two performance venues, a 250-seat main stage and a 99-seat black box venue, as well as rehearsal rooms and other public amenities, open to this central space. A second-floor gallery walk, providing views toward the downtown, lake, and nearby grove, is structured by timber Vierendeel trusses and a lighter wood lattice hung in tension from the primary structure. In warm weather this central hub opens to the adjacent public park and downtown, allowing the energy and interaction generated within the theater to extend outward into the community beyond. At night, it glows from within like a lantern, drawing interest and activity to this important cultural anchor and downtown Glencoe.

▽ 在晚上戏院像一个灯笼一样散发着光芒,At night it glows from within like a lantern

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▽ 二楼的走廊,econd-floor gallery walk

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▽可看到市中心的市景,湖景,林景,providing views toward the downtown, lake, and nearby grove

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▽其主要结构是木头的空腹桁架,在主结构挂着轻质木材的格子,Structured by timber Vierendeel trusses and a lighter wood lattice hung in tension from the primary structure

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▽ 剧院的一角是一个公众聚集空间,The theater is anchored by a public gathering space

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表演场地设计的重点是尽可能加大演员与听众之间的亲密感,增强观众的参与感。在大场地,看台座位从墙上解放出来,这样演员可以与之互动交流,舞台和座位实现了无缝衔接。历史上,旧女性图书馆俱乐部遗留下的砖被重新利用起来,成为了戏剧后面纹理精美的隔声屏,扩散和反射噪音创造了一个良好的声环境。较小的黑箱场地可以根据各种表演活动需求自定义化。屋顶花园也可以举行一些活动。

The design of the performance spaces is intended to maximize the sense of intimacy between actors and audience and enhance the immersive experience for which Writers is known. In the larger venue, tribune seating is liberated from the walls, inviting exciting actor entrances and other innovative staging opportunities, further enhanced by a seamless transition from theater floor to stage. In a nod to the history of the company, bricks reclaimed from the Woman’s Library Club building form an elaborately patterned back-of-house acoustic screen that diffuses and reflects sound for an intimate aural environment. The smaller black box venue can be infinitely customized for performances and events. A rooftop pavilion and green roof offer additional event space.

▽ 表演场地设计的重点是尽可能加大演员与听众之间的亲密感,增强观众的参与感,performance spaces maximize the sense of intimacy between actors and audience and enhance the immersive experience

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▽ 纹理精美的隔声屏,an elaborately patterned back-of-house acoustic screen

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▽ 较小的黑箱场地可以根据各种表演活动需求自定义化,The smaller black box venue can be infinitely customized for performances and events.

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▽ 屋顶花园也可以举行一些活动,A rooftop pavilion and green roof offer additional event space.

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Writers剧院不仅服务于Glencoe社区民众,也吸引了芝加哥大都会等区域的观众。随着这个新文化建筑的开幕,每年多吸引了近乎45000个观众来这里看表演参与社区活动等。

Writers Theatre not only serves its immediate Glencoe community but also attracts audiences from the Chicago metropolitan region and beyond. With the opening of this new cultural facility, nearly 45,000 additional people could be drawn to Glencoe each year to share in the experience of the company’s performances, community events, workshops, and gatherings, infusing the art of performance into their everyday lives.

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▽ 效果图,Renderings

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▽ 总平面,Site Plan

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▽ 平面图,Floor Plans

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▽ 剖面图,Sections

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Project Team
Studio Gang Architects, Architect
W.E. O’Neil Construction, General Contractor

AMS Planning & Research Corporation and VMS LLC, Owner’s Counsel Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, Theatre Consultant
Coen + Partners, Landscape Architect
dbHMS, MEP/Fire Protection Engineer

Halvorson and Partners, Structural Engineer
Lightswitch Architectural, Lighting Consultant
Peter Heppel Associates, Engineering Specialist for Grand Gallery Walk SPACECO, Inc., Civil Engineer
Thirst, Graphic Designer
Threshold Acoustics, Acoustical Consultant
Venue, Cost Consultant
WMA Sustainability Solutions Group, LEED/Sustainability Consultant

Location : Glencoe, IL
Status: Project Start 2012, Completion February 2016
Client: Writers Theatre
Type: Cultural, Office
Size: 36,000 sf
Project Budget: $28 million
Image Credit
Photography: Steve Hall © Hedrich Blessing
Renderings, Drawings, and Diagrams: © Studio Gang Architects

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