The Comprehensive Studio was lead by Marlene Imirzian, AIA and had the program of designing a theater for the Actors Theater Company located in downtown Phoenix. That being said, the idea of keeping the urban fabric closely tied to the theater and it’s participants was an important impetus for the site location of this theater in downtown Los Angeles, on the intersection of 4th Street and Spring Street, on the same block as the famed historic Bradbury Building.
The locus of a corner site in my mind provides many opportunities but also some urbanistic responsibilities to the corner condition, the intersection between two thoroughfares: pedestrian, bicycling, automotive, vision, sound, and culture exchanges occurring in thousands of revolutions per minute. Interestingly enough, much like water trickling down a large leaf in the rainforest, all these users and stimuli will also adhere to the principle of least effort to conserve kinetic energy when possible. This “weathering of the built environment” dictated that the most efficient path between the entry and exit of the apex was to be echoed in the footprint of the building on the street level.
This “shortcut” provided an opportunity to let the user swoop through the curve and more closely interact with the building even if only on a passerby level.
In a purely serendipitous moment, the ground floor plan, happen to have parallel similarities with Alvaro Siza’s plans for Banco Pinto & Sotto Mayor, which also included a swooping exterior facade with horizontally aligned window glazing, as seen in the elevations below.