DEE AND CHARLES WYLY THEATER, USA, DALLAS, 2009
Theater situated in the new Dallas Performing Arts Center
In the typical theater, the proliferation of front-of-house and back-of-house spaces threatens to strangle the auditorium itself, buffering the performance from the outside world. The compact, vertical orientation of the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, with its 12 storeys, allows support spaces to be stacked above and beneath the auditorium rather than wrapped around it.
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No longer shielded by transitional and technical areas – foyer, ticket counters, backstage facilities – this reimagining of the theatre typology exposes the auditorium to the city on all sides. On alternate nights, the Dallas Theatre Center, for whom the Wyly will be a new home, can perform Shakespeare in a hermetic container, or – opening the blackout blinds along the exterior glass walls – with the city of Dallas as a backdrop the next.

The tallness and simplicity of the box form, together with the unique visibility of the activities in the theatre, gives the building prominence in the large new complex of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. The form also facilitates innovation in the theatre's mechanics: the conventional fly tower above the stage has been extended vertically (with program concentrated around it on multiple levels), and can pull up both scenery and seating. This allows artistic directors to rapidly change the venue into a wide array of configurations that push the limits of the 'multi-form' theatre: proscenium, thrust, traverse, arena, studio, and flat floor – in which the seating, and the balconies, can be removed entirely. The stage and the floor of the auditorium are deliberately made of non-precious materials – the floor can be drilled, nailed into, and painted at will. In this way, together with the easily manipulable seating and stage configuration, the Wyly Theatre seeks to preserve and elaborate the flexible, improvisatory nature of the Dallas Theatre Center's original home.

Live webcam view of The Wyly
FACT SHEET
Status:
Completion: October 2009

Site:
Dallas Arts District, Downtown Dallas, Texas USA

Client:
Dallas Center for the Performing Arts

Program:
7,700m2 multi-form theatre with flexible performance configurations (proscenium, thrust, traverse, arena, and flat floor), a nominal seating capacity of 575, and full front-of-house and back-of-house facilities including administrative offices, rehearsal spaces, café, gift shop, cocktail bar, offices, costume shop, lobby, auditorium, stage support areas, mechanical rooms, production spaces and rooftop multipurpose space.


COLLABORATORS
Acoustics:
DHV – ­ Renz van Luxemburg, Ben Kok, Theo Raijmakers

Accessibility:
McGuire Associates – Kevin McGuire

Constructability:
McCarthy Construction – Gary Akin, Wayne Hendricks

Cost:
Donnell Consultants Inc. ­ – Stewart Donnell, Athol Joffe, Steve Ryan Donnell Consultants Inc. ­ Stewart Donnell, Athol Joffe, Steve Ryan

Executive Architect:
Kendall / Heaton Associates – Rex Wooldridge, Pat Ankney, Vince Nguyen, Matt Upchurch

Enclosure:
Front, Inc. ­ – Marc Simmons, Brian Guerrero

Furniture:
Quinze & Milan – ­ Arne Quinze, Tom DeGres, Alain Gilles

Graphics:
2x4 ­ – Michael Rock, Albert Lee

Life Safety:
Pielow Fair Associates - Bob Pielow

Lighting:
Tillotson Design Associates – ­ Suzan Tillotson, Christopher Cheap

Mechanical:
Transsolar / Cosentini / Plus Group ­ – Stefan Holst, Igor Bienstock, Mark Malekshahi, Peter Lee

Structure:
Magnusson Klemencic Associates ­ – Jay Taylor, Owen Kohashi, Lavina Sadhwani

Theatre:
Theatre Projects Consultants ­ – John Coyne, Benton Delinger, John Runia, David Taylor

Vertical Circulation:
HKA ­ – Daryl Anderson

PRESS
Architecture Week, 27 October 2010
Dallas News
, 11 October 2010
Financial Times, 23 October 2009
TIME Magazine, 22 October 2009
New York Times, 15 October 2009
Los Angeles Times, 7 October 2009
Dallas News
, 31 August 2009
Dallas News
, 16 August 2009
Kera, 25 February 2009
Designscene, 16 February 2009

a+u, #427 April 2006
Time, 13 February 2006
Construction, January 2006
Arcspace, 10 November 2005
AV Proyectos #10, 2005
Architectuur, 10 November 2005
Fast Company, June 2005
Archined, 17 June 2004
Dallas Morning News, 13 June 2004








CREDITS
Architects:
REX/OMA

Principals:
Joshua Prince-Ramus (partner in charge) and Rem Koolhaas

Project architects:
Erez Ella, Vincent Bandy, Tim Archambault, Vanessa Kassabian

Team:
Haviland Argo, Steve Chen, Dan Choi, Robert Donnelly, Selva Gurdogan, Jonathan Handel, Stine Hansen, Oke Hauser, Andrew Heid, Nahyun Hwang, Ashley Klein, Trine Kobbelvedt, Natalia Ibanez Lario, Soren Sigurd Larsen, Mads Kristensen, Filip Rem, Beatriz Ramo, Gro Sarauw, Max Schwitalla, Rooshad Shroff, Gregers Tang Thomsen, Lisa Tiedje, Angelica Trevino, Kristine Wander, Monika Wittig, Dolly Yarur


CLIENT STATEMENT
"The creation of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts is an investment in the cultural life of our city... Together with the Performance Park, the Center will become an exciting, seven-day-a-week destination that will animate Dallas and the region. This new Center ensures that future generations in Dallas and the region will have access to the best music, theatre, opera and dance from throughout the world."
–Bill Lively, President and CEO of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts.