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Friday, March 15, 2013

SITE's Balcony as Marquee

The Local East Village reports that the Theater for the New City on 1st Avenue has unveiled a new facade designed by James Wines. Funny thing is that "the theater commissioned the design when it first moved to its current location in 1986, but it has languished without funding."

Wines, whose firm is SITE (Sculpture In The Environment), is treating the facade like a three-dimensional marquee that clearly illustrates the building's function, even as it inverts the relationship between the audience and the stage. The eroded edge below the seats is reminiscent of Wines's earlier BEST showrooms and other "De-Architecture" projects from decades ago. This part of the design gives the impression that the seats once extended all the way to the street over the sidewalk.

If installed as designed, its success will depend on how it is executed and maintained. The design is sure to polarize critics, both professional and armchair, but it should be an improvement over the current state:

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