TheatreSquared selects design team for new theatre building

TheatreSquared officials want to expand from their current home at Nadine Baum Studios into a new facility to be built across West Avenue on city-owned property currently being used as a parking lot.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

TheatreSquared today announced the selection of the lead design team members for the organization’s new permanent home in downtown Fayetteville.

London-based theatre planners Charcoalblue will lead the design team, while Jonathan Marvel of New York-based firm Marvel Architects will design the 50,000-square-foot building.

TheatreSquared officials hope to build the new performance venue on a 54-space municipal parking lot at the southeast corner of Spring Street and West Avenue, across from their current home inside Nadine Baum Studios.

Fayetteville City Council members recently agreed to a proposal that will allow Mayor Lioneld Jordan to negotiate a long-term lease or sale of the property to TheatreSquared.

Jeremy Pate, the city’s development services director, said earlier this year that the proposed location offers the size and proximity to public parking, the Walton Arts Center, Dickson Street, and other amenities that a downtown theater needs to thrive.

“Staff fully supports this endeavor, as we believe the impact of an expanded, unique professional theater in the downtown can be a significant draw for tourism and economic development,” Pate said. “In combination with the Walton Arts Center expansion and the amenities that downtown Fayetteville has to offer, this facility, if fully realized, will add to the Northwest Arkansas region’s arsenal of cultural amenities, thereby fueling tourism and spending in our economies.”

Pate said the plan is to bring a negotiated agreement back to the City Council for final approval sometime in spring 2016.

According to a news release, Charcoalblue served as theatre planners for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s new Courtyard Theatre, the Young Vic, Everyman Theatre, and two new venues at London’s National Theatre.

From the release:

TheatreSquared announced the selection of Marvel and Charcoalblue to a record 400 community members in attendance at the company’s Tenth Anniversary Gala. John Owens, head of the U.S. office for Charcoalblue, spoke to guests. “When we first visited TheatreSquared and watched Bob Ford’s Look Away, we were amazed to find, here in Northwest Arkansas, one of the best performances we’d seen all year,” said Owens. “That work deserves — and, after touring Crystal Bridges, I can tell you this region is ready for — a world-class theatre building.”

Architect Jonathan Marvel began his career under Richard Meier, working on the Getty Museum and the High Museum; today, he leads a team at New York-based Marvel Architects that has won more than 60 national and international design awards.

» Read the full news release (PDF)