S.P.A.C.E. Cultural Arts Center
Savannah, GA, United States
32.0835407 | -81.09983419999998
S.P.A.C.E. (Savannah’s Place for Art, Culture & Education) is currently looking to relocate. S.P.A.C.E. has already purchased a lot along the MLK Jr. corridor that will be home to their new building, however this site imposes its own set of challenges. Since the construction of the I-16 fly over, local businesses and community activities along MLK Jr. Boulevard corridor have been on a steady decline. The fly over has created a harsh separation from the downtown area, the lower income communities, and diverse minority businesses on MLK Jr. Boulevard. There is currently a plan in effect by the city to redevelop the corridor, reconnecting downtown with potential businesses and community activities on the MLK Jr. corridor. In addition to the challenges posed with this site, the requirements of the studio were to concentrate on the nature of structural systems, including long-span structures, and how it affects and informs architectural design.
To make the desired connection with the downtown area while still preserving the separate identity of S.P.A.C.E. I decided to break up the mass of the building, creating several separate identities within the façade to reflect the history and diversity of the surrounding community. A similar approach was used for the structural systems, since the programmatic requirements for the building include a large scale theater to medium sized studios to small classrooms. This not only provided an opportunity to use multiple structural systems but extending them to the exterior provided an opportunity to celebrate them.
Post-tensioned concrete will provide the flexibility needed for the main structure while the two theaters will use precast concrete double tee beams to span the longer distances. The main theater’s structural system will also use glue-laminated beams to support the balcony level, acoustical ceiling, and various catwalks and rigging behind stage.