Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Distinguished Leader

This weekend my boss is being honored by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology for his consistent excellence in theater design. Theater design is considered the most difficult form of architecture and my boss is regarded by most as the best in the world so you could say he's a big deal.

Barton Myers is pretty laid back as far as bosses are concerned. He has the hand writing of an ancient Egyptian and he says things like "idears" instead of ideas. His wife is the most adorable woman I have ever known. Other than that he's been a Navy fighter pilot, worked under Louis Kahn, continues to be a distinguished professor, and has humbly been an architect for over fifty years. This weekend he's being recognized based on his five theaters built to date. Nice work Big B!

The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta Canada was Barton's first theater, completed in 1973. I wasn't even born yet! Diamond and Myers with associate architects R.L. Wilkin. Photos by John Fulker.

The immaculate wood detailing created warmth throughout the space.

Portland Center for the Performing Arts completed in 1987 features a 2,750 seat concert hall, 950 seat lyric theater, 450 seat flexible courtyard and rehearsal room. Barton Myers Associates (design architects) with BOORA & ELS Design Group. Photography by Timothy Hursley.

Portland featured side seating and multiple balconies to bring audiences closer to the stage.

Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts completed in 1993 was 136,000 sq.ft. and included a 1950 seat multi-form theater, ancillary spaces, and a 250 seat community room. Barton Myers Associates. Photography by Wolfgang Simon.

Considered to be one of the most technologically sophisticated theaters in the world, mobile seating towers on air casters allowing five different configurations of seating.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center was quite a pinnacle in Barton's career. Newark wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for NJPAC. In an effort to revive the dieing city and deserted waterfront, the site of NJPAC was demolished in the early 90's.

NJPAC completed in 1997, 250,000 gsf, including a 2,750 seat multi-purpose theater, a 500 seat multi-purpose theater, banquet/rehearsal hall, community room, restaurant, offices, retail, support spaces and a 4 acre urban square. Barton Myers Associates Architects in association with Wilson Woodridge Architects and Fisher Dachs Associates. Photography by Jeff Goldberg/Esto.

NJPAC's Prudential Hall's superb acoustics are due in part to the innovative under floor ventilation system reducing ambient noise.

Tempe Center for the Arts was the first theater I was on board to see completed in 2007. Barton Myers Associates and Architekton. Photography by Architekton & John Linden.

TCA hosts 90,000 sq.ft. including a 600 seat main theater, 200 seat flexible theater, gallery, cinema, cafe, and a 26 acre art park.

Situated on Town Lake, TCA has been dubbed "Little Sydney" by the locals.

Designed in the spirit of a tee-pee, the indigenous Hohokam and Chaco Canyon architecture was the inspiration.

Next up for Barton is the city of Orlando and the transformation of their downtown into a grand plaza.

Renderings by Craig Mullons.

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