The new performing arts center will be located across from the 680 acre Bogotá Centro Administrativo Nacional (CAN) urban district plan by OMA. The building is forced to address two different but equally significant fronts: the main boulevard and a new public pedestrian plaza to the west. This divergence of frontalities is expressed by the geometry of the facade which evokes a curtain. Two grand spiraling staircases, contained in a pair of tilted cylinders, are suspended above the diagonally articulated corner entrance.

Being constricted, the site causes two unusual things to happen. First, because it does not commodiously accommodate the typical typological arrangement in which the lobby precedes the theater, the main 2000 seat theater is required to be stacked on top of the lobby. The sequence of ascending interior public spaces culminates in a 260 seat recital hall that overlooks the city and the mountains to the east.

As a consequence, the lobby is unusually large and open to the surroundings; the main theater hovers above the plaza which appears to extend into the building. Second, the promenades and public staircases around the theater are forced to be pressed up against the envelope, as if immediately “behind the curtain.”

The façade’s complex form is achieved affordably with only 8 standardized panel types.

Location: Bogotá, Colombia

Client:Construcciones Planificadas

Schedule: Design, 2015 – 2018; Construction: tba

Team: Design Architect: Preston Scott Cohen, Inc., Preston Scott Cohen and Carl Dworkin, principals; Architect of Record: Construcciones Planificadas

Program: 25,000 sq. m. (270,000 sq. ft.): 2,100 seat main theater for opera, concerts, ballet, and musicals; 260 seat black box theater, music and dance studios, 800 sq. m. gallery, 700 sq. m. restaurant, theater support programs; lobby; bars; foyer; administration