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Architectural Vision

The Ronald O. Perelman Center will be a one-of-a-kind home for the performing arts, a central cultural and social destination, a delightful, surprising, enticing ‘Mystery Box’ respectfully embracing creation and memory.  As both a home and birthplace for exciting, premiere productions of theater, dance, music, film and opera in downtown Manhattan The Perelman Center stands as both witness to the significance of the site and locus for vitality, creativity and rebirth. Its platonic exterior – translucent, book-matched stone edifice wrapped in the same marble that graces the U.S. Supreme Court building, the Jefferson Memorial, here sliced thin and laminated within insulated glass in concert as much as ready tension with its rugged, workhouse interior.

In the morning and afternoon hours light filters through its surface, illuminating the interior in a rich, amber glow. By night, the glow directs outward, invitingly animating the façade with the silhouetted forms of human movement within. The Perelman Center will be alive all day and night, with public access spaces on the first floor, a restaurant/bar serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, through which audiences and artists alike will flow on their way to the upper levels of work and play space.

The Perelman Center’s upper two levels offer an unprecedented level of flexibility and mutability, for work and performance combining multi-form and multi-processional flexibility. Its three auditoria (499-, 250-, 99-seats) and rehearsal space, which also doubles as a fourth venue, are separated by moveable, acoustic guillotine walls allowing for eleven basic arrangements of space. The addition of flexible manifold stage-audience arrangement within the auditoria, and pivoting baffles attached the exteriors of the auditoria ultimately allow for near infinite numbers of combinations and permutations of both offstage and front of house spaces.

Backstage, artists will be able to avail themselves to an expansive support area for performance—trap, dressing rooms, a green room, musician room, quiet room, wig storage and so on. Unlike many performance spaces, these facilities are located at the core of the building, access provided through a private, dedicated elevator/stair couplet, or, if so desired, through any of the other three public access points to the upper levels. Above ground, sheathed in same translucent stone, they will be lit in amber glow.


In offering unparalleled artistic freedom, its connection to the community, and material duality, The Perelman Center will be a cultural and social fixture of New York City’s lower downtown.

Design and Construction Team

DESIGN ARCHITECT:  REX Architecture, Joshua Prince-Ramus (Bio)

EXECUTIVE ARCHITECT: Davis Brody Bond Steve M. Davis, Carl F. Krebs, David K. Williams (Bio)

THEATER DESIGN CONSULTANT: Charcoalblue, Andy Hayles, Gavin Green, Jon Stevens (Bio)

CONSTRUCTION CONSULTANT/OWNERS REPRESENTATIVE: DBI Projects,  David Belt, Ofer Ohad (Bio)