The objective was to develop a design for an infill site that could accommodate two primary programs – a black box theater and an art gallery, in Denver’s Lower Downtown Historic District on Wazee Street, between 17th and 18th Street.
Our proposed design divides the two programs according to the need for the natural daylight. Gallery-related spaces are placed above grade with main access from Wazee St. and the theater-related spaces are pushed down below grade with primary entry through the alley. The alley entrance reinforces the unconventional nature of the Black Box theater while activating the alley as an additional public space.
Removing the theater program from the site’s ground level footprint allowed us to maintain a buffer zone on the north-east side of the site which kept the access to daylight and the entry passage for the neighboring building intact.