New Tampa Performing Arts Center


CategoryRecreational & Clubhouse

Client       |   Hillsborough County Public Schools

Location  |  Tampa, FL


The New Tampa Performing Arts Center is located in the region of New Tampa, Florida. Connected to Bruce B Downs Boulevard, the site shares a common entry with the adjacent shopping center, restaurant, community dog park and multifamily residential projects. The site is surrounded by Natural Preserves which are an integral part of the community of New Tampa.

The New Tampa Performing Arts Center is intended as a shared facility between the community and a local performing arts group. The facility is a 350-seat venue with 4 flexible dance studios. The auditorium and stage have an inherent shape and proportions to make them functional, so we expressed them as a rigid solid mass. The colonnade of the portico and the linear roof create the transition between the surrounding wetlands and the mass of the auditorium and stage. The scale of the columns is in dialogue with the surrounding cypress trees. The masonry walls and their directionality focus and soften the views to the wetlands from the lobby and studios. The masonry fin wall at the entry also creates a threshold entering a realm of serenity. Its proximity to the sidewalk invites you to feel it before crossing through it. The entry includes 2 exterior and 1 interior ticket windows. The transparency of the lobby is interrupted only by the rhythm of the thin and tall round columns. They extend from the interior to the exterior to create a public space between the lobby and the wetlands. In the lobby, the public entries to the auditorium are expressed as voids carving out the solid mass of the auditorium and stage. The concession and sound booth are bulging out of the solid mass as precursors to the event. The interior of the auditorium is made of simple materials such as polished concrete and dark walls and wood ceilings. The interior of the auditorium is acoustically shaped to improve the experience of the patrons. The 350 seats in the auditorium are retractable to transform the room from a theater venue to a multi-purpose room for receptions. The stage includes a manual counterweight system and a loft gallery to create a full working stage for improved performances. The back of house contains a 2-story shop, 2 dressing rooms, a green room and a piano storage room. The dance studios are designed with operable partitions to make their sizes flexible. They also include sprung flooring and dance barres. Each studio has vertical openings pierced by the masonry vertical fins to focus on the wetlands while minimizing direct sun light. The facility also includes administration spaces and a catering room for different venues.

As an anticipation to the growth of the community, the New Tampa Performing Arts Center is designed to grow concurrently. The wing of the New Tampa Performing Arts Center is designed to accommodate a future second story addition for additional dance studios and community spaces.