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New York Theatre Workshop

New York Theatre Workshop is a “laboratory for theatrical exploration and a producer of plays that expand the boundaries of theatrical form and address the critical issues of our times”. AO is working with this visionary organization to transform its signature building on East Fourth Street, a theatre in a former garage, and the adjacent old row house used for theatre support and administration. Our work together began with a comprehensive exploration of the buildings’ potential to be altered and enlarged with the goals of expanding NYTW’s production capacity and providing greater resources to its diverse artist and audience community. Following our thorough building conditions assessment and space use program development, we conceived several conceptual design options ranging in scale, construction complexity, and costs for comparison to define a feasible project that best captures their priorities.

The project consists of a modest addition and discrete interventions that unlock the potential of the historic structures. A new elevator and central stair fuse the offset floors of both buildings with a vertical string of informal meeting spaces visible on the street. A new floor of flexible rehearsal studios floats over a mechanical plenum/sound buffer above the existing theatre; the studios open to a generous rooftop rehearsal and performance venue situated within the required rear yard setback. The floor of the theatre itself will be flattened to allow varied seating and staging configurations while the building enclosures and electro-mechanical systems will be bolstered to conserve energy and improve interior environmental conditions. In visualizing the transformation, we considered how NYTW could maintain its authentic identity on East 4th Street at a larger scale and what could be borrowed from its current unpretentious sensibility.


New York Theatre Workshop


20,000 square foot Renovation + 5,000-20,000 square foot Addition


New York, NY


Complete 2018 (Concept Design)


Programming, Site Assessment, Concept Design, Fundraising Materials