REX / OMA architecture: wyly theatre opens in dallas
 
REX / OMA architecture: wyly theatre opens in dallas REX / OMA architecture: wyly theatre opens in dallas
oct 14, 2009

REX / OMA architecture: wyly theatre opens in dallas

the dee and charles wyly theatre designed by REX/OMA (joshua prince ramus, partner in charge and rem koolhaas) at the AT &T performing arts center in dallas photo by iwan baan

the dee and charles wyly theatre, dallas has opened today. the wyly theatre part of the city’s new AT & T performing arts center is designed by joshua prince-ramus (partner in charge, now REX) and rem koolhaas (founder of OMA).

unlike a typical theatre, the wyly accommodates back-of-house and front-of-house areas above and beneath the auditorium rather than wrapped around it, liberating its perimeter – a glass façade with optional blackout blinds – for direct contact with the urban surroundings. passers by have the chance to glimpse the action inside; the theatre itself, which seats up to 575 and can offer views of the city of dallas as a backdrop.

the dee and charles wyly theatre designed by REX/OMA at the AT &T performing arts center in dallas photo by iwan baan

rem koolhaas, who will be giving a lecture in the wyly theatre on 15 october at 4pm, commented: ‘by stacking all facilities necessary for the functioning of a theatre in a single vertical volume, we create a situation where the technologies of the stage define an infinite variety of theatre arrangements, from the completely open to the completely enclosed.’

the dee and charles wyly theatre designed by REX/OMA at the AT &T performing arts center in dallas photo by tim hursley

with 12 storeys clad in distinctive tubular aluminium, the wyly has a commanding presence on the south side of the AT&T performing arts center complex. the building has a total area of 7,500m2 (80,300 square feet) and includes a cocktail bar, offices, costume shop, and a multipurpose rooftop space. the wyly uses a state-of-the-art ‘superfly’ tower, able to efficiently move both scenery and seating, facilitating flexibility and experimentation in the configuration of a theatre space: proscenium, thrust, traverse, arena, studio, and flat floor arrangements can be set up in less than a day.

the dee and charles wyly theatre designed by REX/OMA at the AT &T performing arts center in dallas

joshua prince-ramus and rem koolhaas’s design for the wyly theatre started in 2004 at OMA’s rotterdam headquarters, and was subsequently developed in OMA’s new york office. in 2006, prince-ramus left OMA to form REX, where he continued to oversee the construction of the wyly. since 2006, OMA’s new york office has been headed by OMA partner shohei shigematsu, who oversees a range of projects including cornell university’s milstein hall, currently under construction.

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