Shakespeare in the House

Oct. 31, 2007

Lenox, MA -- Great Barrington, MA-based architectural firm Clark & Green Inc. has designed the new Shakespeare & Company Center for Production and Performing Arts. With a core of over 150 artists, Shakespeare & Company has put forth 30 seasons of original plays and classical performance in the Berkshire Hills.

Clark & Green's design will usher the Company into the 21st century, transforming a major portion of an existing underused 54,000-square-foot fieldhouse into a 31,200-square-foot, high-functioning theater arts facility. An emphasis will be placed on environmental sustainability. The projected completion date for this project is April 30, 2008.

Clark & Green's sustainable design of the center dramatically improves the buildings infrastructure and brings it into compliance with building and energy codes. A high-quality climate control system will be installed to maintain a comfortable and healthy interior environment while saving significantly on energy costs. It will provide a flexible room-by-room temperature control system. Large, translucent clerestory windows will introduce natural lighting into the large scene shop. The center's lighting system will adjust levels of artificial illumination through automatic daylight sensors thus reducing electrical consumption.

ALL IMAGES: Clark & Green Architects

Along with these energy saving upgrades, radical improvements will be made to the site. An existing drainage swale, adjacent to the main entrance, will be cleared of invasive species and will be developed into a native wetland garden. This wetland will provide filtration for runoff from paved parking areas and roof surfaces. These sustainable site and building improvements are the cornerstone of Clark & Green Inc.'s eco-friendly design approach.

"The program for this project is unique. It combines all aspects of the theater performance, production, and allied arts like set design, costume design -- all under one roof, says Stephan Green, principal of Clark & Green. The enormous scale of the building, once an athletic fieldhouse housing a hockey rink and basketball courts, provides the opportunity for the consolidation of this ambitious program for thetheatrical arts."

The new Shakespeare & Company Center will include three interconnected zones: a rehearsal area comprised of three state-of-the-art studios; a two-story technical development area housing consolidated scene, prop, and costume shops; and a performance venue including a flexible studio theater with multiple seating configurations for 155 theater-goers. It is connected to a uniquely proportioned lobby and concession area that originally housed the boiler plant for the building.

Shakespeare & Companys Interim Executive Director Nicholas Puma says, This venue will give us the horse power to go to the next level in terms of economic impact. The new center will provide a second venue that will enable the company to increase the number of performances and will be a welcome addition to their main stage at Founders Theater. Clark & Greens design will create a more intimate, alternative artistic space for specialized performances. The additional rehearsal space will facilitate an expansion of the Company's primary missions, which are education and a greater ability to develop on-campus outreach programs.

About Clark & Green Inc.: Clark & Green was formed in 1988 by Alan Clark and Stephan Green. This architectural studio focuses on providing clients with program and site driven designs. As such it has a wide variety of projects on the boards including a six-screen multiplex cinema in an existing historic building, a new 15,000-square-foot fire station, and a 25,000-square-foot childrens health clinic along with a variety of new residences. Both principals were builders before becoming architects and as a result have an established ability to translate complex design solutions into buildable and economically feasible plans.

Source: Susan Grant Lewin Assoc., Adam Abdalla, [email protected], 212-947-4557

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