Englewood Cultural Arts Center
The Englewood Cultural Arts Center had to be highly visible and easily accessible. The intersection of the Santa Fe transportation corridor and Highway 285 provides maximum metro-wide exposure and makes the arts center convenient for both automobile and mass transit arrival. In this location, the ECAC will be a “Billboard for the arts”. This exposure will augment the aggressive promotion of the arts that is necessary to sustain an art center’s fiscal success.
A new pedestrian bridge establishes a gateway marker and connects the city of Englewood to the art center, park, and riverfront.
By connecting the city center to the South Platte River Greenway, the ECAC becomes a catalyst for the development of a new art park providing sculpture gardens, performance areas, artist live work spaces and other art related retail. It is hoped that special programs, festivals and other recreational activities along the waterfront will reinforce the vitality between the new art center and the local community.
The proposed design articulates the different functions and disciplines within the center in to several clear forms and encourages diversity and interconnection of the disciplines through the use of stairs, ramps, escalators and other gathering spaces. The design also integrates artful expression and sustainability into all components and structures.
The largest of these forms is the theater complex (orange) with its innovative multiple stages and turntable seating located above rehearsal spaces and dressing rooms. The grey forms are multiple levels of classrooms and dance studios; the purple form is two levels of dividable conference and meeting spaces, and the blue form is the administration wing with live-in artist lofts above. The termination of the administration spike demarcates the main entry.
The sphere located in the atrium is a café that would be accessible via the bridge from the city and the park even when the center is closed; of course while open it is accessible by all.
The 600 parking spaces provided below the center feature natural ventilation and daylighting and serve a dual purpose as overflow parking for the Englewood mass transit stops.
by Mark Raeburn at ARAA