AT&T Performing Arts Center Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre | Notes of Interest

The AT&T Performing Arts Center is an 80,300 square-foot, 575-seat "multi-form" theater with the ability to transform between proscenium, thrust, traverse, and flat-floor configurations with only a small crew in a few hours and opens the performance chamber to its urban surroundings. Additional program elements include a lobby, large rehearsal room, small rehearsal room/black box theater, patron’s lounge/black box lobby, dressing rooms, green room, costume shop, scene assembly, theater equipment storage, administrative offices, meeting/education spaces, staff lounge, and two terraces.

The Dallas Theater Center (DTC) is known for its innovative work, the result of its leadership’s constant experimentation and the provisional nature of its former, long-time home. The DTC’s previous accommodation—a makeshift metal shed—freed its users from the limitations imposed by a fixed-stage configuration and the need to protect expensive interior finishes.

The Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre overcame these challenges by positioning back-of-house and front-of-house facilities above and beneath the auditorium, instead of encircling it. This unprecedented stacked design transforms the building into a "theater machine" that extends the technologies of the fly tower and stage into the auditorium to provide an almost infinite variety of stage-audience configurations; liberates the performance hall's perimeter to allow fantasy and reality to mix when and where desired; and manifests a strong presence in the Dallas Arts District despite its relatively modest size.

Additional Credits

  • Associate Architect: Kendall/Heaton Associates
  • Engineer: Transsolar Energietechnik (Climate); Cosentini Associates (Mechanical); Magnusson Klemencic Associates (Structural)
  • Acoustic Consultant: Dorsserblesgraaf
  • ADA Consultant: McGuire Associates
  • Construction Manager: McCarthy Building Companies
  • Cost Consultant: Donnell Consultants
  • Façade Consultant: Front
  • Furniture Designer: 2x4
  • Graphics/Wayfinding Consultant: Quinze & Milan
  • Life Safety Consultant: Pielow Fair
  • Lighting Consultant: Tillotson Design Associates
  • Vertical Transport Consultant: HKA
  • Photo Credit: © Rex Architecture PC;© Theatre Projects Consultants;© Iwan Baan Photography; © Magnusson Klemencic Associates; © Tim Hursley
  • Theater Consultant: Theatre Projects Consultants

AT&T Performing Arts Center Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre

Jury Comments

This building is an expression of a totally new way to investigate the potential of performative experimentation – completely re-choreographed the way in which one experiences a theater.

The flexibility of this building redefines theater in a way that is unique – curtains open, light comes in.

It contributes to the skyline without being so tall – the façade and treatment of the exterior are quite interesting looking as an object in the city

2011 Institute Honor Awards for Architecture Jury

  • David Miller, FAIA, (Chair)
  • The Miller Hull Partnership, LLP
  • Seattle
  • Ashley Clark, Assoc. AIA
  • LandDesign Inc.
  • Charlotte
  • Curtis Fentress, FAIA
  • Fentress Architects
  • Denver
  • T. Gunny Harboe, FAIA
  • Harboe Architect, PC
  • Chicago
  • David Neuman, FAIA
  • University of Virginia, University Architect
  • Charlottesville, Va.
  • Louis Pounders, FAIA
  • ANF Architects
  • Memphis
  • Sarah Snodgrass, AIAS Representative
  • Parsons The New School for Design
  • New York City
  • Allison Williams, FAIA
  • Perkins & Will
  • San Francisco
  • Jennifer Yoos, AIA
  • VJAA
  • Minneapolis

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