A nationally-recognized training and production center dedicated to the youth of the community
The East Bay Center for the Performing Arts is a nationally-recognized training and production centre dedicated to the under-served youth of the community which it serves. Located in a neighbourhood known as the "Iron Triangle", the historically-significant Winters Building is a former 1920's dance hall and has been transformed into a new urban centre for music and dance. The significant renovation 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 facade from the primary street around to the primary entrance on the secondary street. The storefront has large, rhythmically-arranged openings intended to express the interior vitality of the centre, while at the same time 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 space program includes two large classroom/performance spaces: a 200-seat auditorium with raked seating and a flat floor venue with flexible platform seating; as well as classrooms, practice studios and offices. Through close collaboration with the structural engineer, the structural design solution included the insertion of a new steel structure within the historic shell, including new steel cross-bracing. The specially designed steel brace frames serve a dual purpose to allow the building to safely resist wind and earthquake loads, as well as to integrate 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 centre and its urban setting.