Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

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Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
190,000 square feet / 18,000 square meters
1992

The North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is a key component of a site that includes the 60-story Bank of America headquarters tower as well as Founders Hall, a 20,000-square-foot public room. The Performing Arts Center is the permanent home of the Charlotte Symphony, Opera Carolina, the Charlotte Repertory Theatre and the Charlotte City Ballet.

The lobby of the 2,100-seat Belk Theater faces Tryon Street. Its parterre level is at street level, with the Theater’s orchestra one level below. The lobby serving the first and second balconies is one level above the street. A grand stair at the Tryon and Fifth Street corner connects major lobby levels, as do ancillary stairs and elevators. The Belk Theater lobby is also accessible at the plaza level and Overstreet Mall level from Founders Hall.

The main level of the lobby for the 450-seat Booth Playhouse opens onto Founders Hall at the level of the Overstreet Mall. Vertical circulation from College Street and the plaza level reaches the lobby, as do sky bridges from the Bank of America Center parking facility, City Fair and Radisson Hotel. A large stair and elevator near the College Street facade lead from the sidewalk entrance to the Booth Playhouse and balcony level of the lobby.

The rehearsal hall/studio theater, loading dock and other building services are on College Street at the same level as the scenery dock, Belk Theater stage, large rehearsal room and other back stage facilities. A freight elevator transports material to the Booth Playhouse dock and stage level.

The exterior takes on the shapes of the spaces it encloses, with different shades of brick finishes and ornamental stringcourses marking them. The two fly lofts rise out of the building mass, with that of the Booth Playhouse projecting slightly over College Street. Pedestrian arcades line College Street and Fifth Street. Interior spaces are indicated on the facade through different window types: a screen of openings for offices, a large bow window for the Belk Theater lobby and a rising corner window following a stairway.