East Bay Center for the Performing Arts
Project Manager: Equity Community Builders, LLC
Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer: LMR Consulting Mechanical Engineers
Electrical Engineer: The Engineering Enterprise
Structural Engineer: Jon Brody Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: Moran Engineering
Lighting Consultant: Lightswitch, Inc.
Acoustical Consultant: Charles M. Salter Associates
Preservation Consultant: Preservation Architecture
General Contractor: Oliver & Company, Inc.
This community performing arts center is a nationally-recognized training and production center, dedicated to the underserved youth of the community which it serves. Located in a neighborhood known as the “Iron Triangle”, distinguished primarily for its chronic poverty and violence, the Center is a significant resource for the community and at the heart of a revitalization effort of downtown. Reusing the historically-significant Winters Building, a former 1920’s dance hall, the facility has been transformed into a new urban center for music and dance.
The project includes a complete new structure and build out of systems within the historic shell. At the exterior, a new glass storefront wraps the first floor façade from along the two primary streets offering large, rhythmically-arranged openings to express the interior vitality of the center to passers-by, while complementing the historic exterior façade of the upper stories.
Each of the three floors was designed for maximum flexibility for educational, performance, and administrative needs. The facility houses a raked-floor theater space seating 200-240 people, a flexible black-box theater, classrooms, practice studios and offices. Along with the programmatic improvements, new structural, mechanical, and electrical systems are added to better support the facility’s intense public use.
New steel structure within the historic shell safely resists wind and earthquake loads and integrates a unique architectural detail and aesthetic into the various spaces. Informed by the City of Richmond’s rich WWII shipyard history, the double-angle bracing and tapered gusset plates are finely detailed while boldly articulating the spirit of the center and its urban setting.