San Antonio’s Lake Flato Architects and Houston’s Studio Red have completed what they’re calling a schematic design for the new 59,000-sq.-ft. Midtown arts center planned for the full city block at 3400 Main St., adjacent to the Ensemble/HCC light-rail stop. And that means: Yes, presentations to the board of the Independent Arts Collaborative, but also the follow-on posting of the design on the organization’s Facebook page — to see what further reactions come in. The latest plans elaborate on the design team’s concept of separate spaces connected by an open-air central breezeway (the tall structure at right in the above image, viewed from the corner of Main and Holman), but make clear that the theaters are the project’s focus.
5 separate ground-floor gallery spaces are shown, but all except for the largest — a box-shaped space at the corner of Travis and Holman (at right in the view from Travis St. below) — are meant to double as theater lobbies.
The breezeway, covered and wrapped in perforated metal panels, runs from Main to Travis St. Dehumidified air exiting the theaters would enter it and swirl around, stirred up by large overhead fans. Glass walls of the multi-use theater lobbies and the dedicated gallery face into the tall space, the glow of activity behind them acting as “welcoming lanterns” to visitors at night, according to the description accompanying this rendering:
The busiest corners of the building should be the ones at either end of Holman St.; facing Francis St. and the northern portions of both Main and Travis streets are blank walls sheathed with corrugated metal panels and peppered with expanses of translucent glass:
Also included: diagrams of the 4 tilt-up concrete theaters, only 1 of which would have fixed seating:
The complex is meant to share a parking garage with a retail development planned for up the street. “There is much to share and discuss,” announce the IAC’s design-discussion-group facilitators on Facebook. “Many elements are still in flux — elements presented here may not make it into the final design while other elements might be added. With that said, things are becoming solidified enough to have a conversation, so let’s have one.”
- IAC — Schematic Design [Facebook]
- Previously on Swamplot: The Midtown Collaborative Arts Yurt That Got Away, A Second Round of Initial Concepts for Midtown’s Independent Arts Collaborative, Architects Agree To Collaborate on Main St. Arts Collaborative, Independent Arts Collaborative Buying Midtown Lot for New Main St. Arts Center
Images: Lake Flato Architects, Studio Red Architects