Schuster Performing Arts Center+ expand detail
Dayton, Ohio, USA
430,000 square feet / 40,000 square meters
The Schuster Performing Arts Center occupies a full block in the very center of Dayton. The complex is made up of three major components: the Mead Theatre, the Winter Garden, and an 18-story office/residential tower with below grade parking. The complex, located opposite the Victoria Theatre and the Loft Theatre, is the centerpiece of Dayton’s arts district.
The Mead Theatre is a 2,300-seat, multi-purpose hall. It is accompanied by the 150-seat Mathile Theatre, which is used for rehearsals, small-scale performances and special events. The permanent home of the Dayton Philharmonic, the Mead Theatre also accommodates the Victoria Theatre Association and the Dayton Opera. The theater was designed to be an intimate space, with the last row of seating only 120 feet from the stage. A celestial dome lit with fiber optic “stars” replicates the sky on December 16, 1903, the eve of the first powered flight of Dayton natives the Wright Brothers.
The Winter Garden, a glazed public atrium, is the focal point of the complex. It serves as a lobby for the theater and as a forecourt for a restaurant and ticket office. Set well back from the intersection of Main and West Second Streets, it creates a generous public plaza and prominent entrance. Its glazing continues to the West Second Street façade, leading to a covered walkway over Ludlow Street to adjacent parking.
The simple slab tower anchors the composition and acts as a counterpoint to the sculptural glass form of the winter garden. The 50 private residences and office spaces are accessed from Main Street.