Aronoff Center for the Arts

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Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
215,000 square feet / 20,000 square meters

The Aronoff Center for the Arts occupies a 7,900-square-meter (85,000-square-foot) L-shaped site in the entertainment district of Cincinnati, two blocks from the heart of downtown. The Center has three theaters: the 2,700-seat Procter & Gamble Hall, the 440-seat Jarson-Kaplan Theater and the 150-seat Fifth Third Bank Theater. It also includes the Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery as well as support spaces. Home of Cincinnati’s Broadway series, it also accommodates touring, regional and community performances.

The Procter & Gamble Hall and Jarson-Kaplan Theater Lobbies are connected by an interior public pathway joining two plazas. The Procter & Gamble Hall’s main lobby has two levels connected by a monumental stair. Additional elevators and ramps provide access to lobby and theater levels. The Fifth Third Bank Theater lobby also serves the Rehearsal Hall, one level below the Theater.

The exterior consists of two architectural characters woven together as one composition. Performance spaces and their lobbies have a civic scale and are contained between very large masonry walls of brick and stone. A metal-frame grid with stone and glass infill panels enclose areas that have a small urban scale and character. The entire composition is tied together at the base with a 4-meter-high (14-foot-high) stone base and colonnade. Within the colonnade, entrances and retail shops enliven the sidewalk. The use of the masonry, brick and stone, and metal-frame building elements with infill panels responds to Cincinnati’s building traditions.

In 1997, the Aronoff Center for the Arts received an Honor Award from AIAConnecticut. In 1996, the project received a Design Award from the AIA Cincinnati and an Honor Award from USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.