June 19, 2010

The Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, Dallas

Photography by: Iwan Baan

The 12-level Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in the AT&T Performing Arts Center is one of the world’s most innovative theatre facilities, featuring a groundbreaking design by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus (partner in charge) and Rem Koolhaas. Equally innovative is Moroso’s auditorium seating for the Wyly. Rather than the typical fixed theatre seat, Stage seating, as conceived and designed by Arne Quinze, is composed of single upholstered chairs linked and ranged in rows around the stage area. Stage is lightweight, thanks to its unique four-leg base design, and seating configurations can be altered quickly and seamlessly. For the Wyly, Stage’s base continues the theme of transparency as the rows of seating appear to hover above the floor.
The transparent exterior of the Potter Rose Performance Hall allows outside pedestrian views into the Wyly Theatre, as well as audience views of the surrounding outdoor areas. Black-out blinds that can be opened or closed for performances allows the space to be suffused with ambient light and gives the option of having the Dallas skyline as a backdrop. The building’s transparency is best seen at dusk.

The upper portion of the building is clad in pre-fabricated aluminum panels with random repetitions of vertical venetians, creating a textured effect. Unlike the typical theatre setting, where support spaces wrap around the stage house, this unique design for the Wyly places these spaces either above or below the auditorium, enabling maximum interaction and flexibility of performance space and seating.The flexibility of the facility allows performances of a wide range of classical and experimental drama, dance and musical productions, world-renowned vocalists and dance troupes.

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