Slated for completion in 2022, Brown University’s all-new Performing Arts Center, being constructed in the heart of the College Hill campus in Providence, will be a 94,000-square-foot state-of-the-art performance hall that can transform into vastly different stage and audience configurations—ranging from a 625-seat symphony orchestra hall, to a 250-seat proscenium theater, to an immersive surround-sound cube for experimental media performance.
The Providence Journal visited the site—which now features a 227-foot-tall tower crane that will assist in constructing the facility— recently for a behind-the-scenes look at the progress being made.
Excerpt from Providence Journal
If you’ve been to College Hill recently, you may have noticed a large red crane towering above street level on the Brown University campus.
The giant piece of equipment will remain on site until the end of next year to assist with the construction of a new performing arts center at Brown.
The center, projected to be completed in the spring of 2022, will be the principal home of the Brown University Orchestra and house studio space for theater, dance and other arts programs, according to John Cooke, program manager for facilities management at Brown.
It will be located across from the Granoff Center, which houses the Brown Arts Initiative.
Once finished, the modern structure will boast an aluminum façade and a cantilevered lobby level with floor-to-ceiling glass.
Construction, which began during the summer of 2018, is being done by Shawmut Design and Construction, according to Mike Kotuby, project superintendent for the company.
There are about 50 workers at the site each day, but that number could approach 150 as construction continues, Kotuby said.
Construction began with the relocation of the Sharpe House, a historic former residence that houses half of the university’s history department, Kotuby said. The house is now located near the corner of Brown and Olive streets, next to the Peter Green House, another history department building.
The theater where performances will take place is designed to morph into five different configurations to suit a variety of events and audience sizes, and will hold up to 625 people at maximum capacity.
While the center will host a full schedule of programs, including some outside events brought in by the arts initiative, Cooke said it isn’t designed to be a competitor to the Providence Performing Arts Center. Its main focus will be serving the Brown community, particularly the Brown University Orchestra, which currently practices and plays recitals in two separate locations.
Around 1,600 Brown students participate in the arts in one way or another, said Michael Guglielmo, vice president for facilities management at Brown, and they will all benefit from this state-of-the-art facility.