News

DePaul University opens new Theatre School by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

DePaul University opens new Theatre School by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

DePaul University opens new Theatre School by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

CHICAGO (Sept. 12, 2013) — Celebrating a new building by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects that puts the full theater experience on view for the neighborhood and audiences, DePaul University opened its new Theatre School today. Highly transparent and featuring an innovative arrangement of functions, the building gives audiences and passersby a behind-the-scenes glimpse into one of the country's top professional theater training programs.

“This building will be delightful to use, not only for the Theatre School, but for audiences,” said Cesar Pelli, FAIA, senior principal of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. “We wanted everyone to be able to see the excitement of a theater education.”

The design of the building emphasizes openness and transparency. Floor-to-ceiling glass on the ground floor shows the scene and paint shops and highlights the lobby of the 250-seat thrust theater, the Fullerton Stage. The educational process will also be on view when theatergoers pass classrooms and rehearsal rooms on their way to the 4th floor Sondra & Denis Healy Theatre. This theater projects from the corner of the building, serving as a sign for the university. The theater’s north façade is glass and is lit at night in changing colors. Other façades are limestone, recalling the university’s St. Vincent DePaul Church. Like a scrim, the Healy Theatre’s translucent glass wall reveals the 100-seat flexible behind it.  A glass-enclosed bright yellow stair connects all five floors of the 165,000-square-foot building.

“The Pelli concept takes a very sophisticated approach to organizing the pieces of the building so that it engages and energizes the entire Theatre School community,” said John Culbert, dean of The Theatre School. “When you attend a performance at the new building, you won’t just step off the street into the theater. You will actually journey through the school, see its inner workings, be immersed in an experience not available anywhere else in Chicago.”

« Back to News

loading