Construction began on the renovation of Rice Village’s Main Street Theater. What was once a one-story building with an apartment is being transformed by Studio RED Architects into an improved landmark for the Houston arts community.
The renovated 5,700 sf black box theater will include 99 seats with a flexible configuration, support and gathering spaces for actors and patrons, and a rehearsal hall on the second floor which will be used for summer camps and classrooms for children.
“The chief goal is to provide the Theater Company with a highly functional black box theater with flexibility incorporated in the design,” says Pete Ed Garrett, partner, Studio RED Architects.
Once complete, the theater seating will have the capability to move from an arena stage to a thrust stage, corner stage, end stage, and grandstand stage configurations with minimal work required by stage hands. Other key improvements include the expansion of the current theater space into a full height theater with lighting grid, additional stage support areas, an elevator and improvements made to the public restrooms.
Studio RED is known in the world of theatre design for the firm’s specialization in flexible spaces and adaptive re-use. This type of re-use in renovation is what makes the design sustainable. Experts at the firm assess the needs of the client and their existing structures and master plan, and often suggest renovations to clients before new construction. The re-use of the existing Main Street Theater saves time and expense in new construction as the firm improves upon existing structures with added support spaces and technological improvements for a more enjoyable experience for the patrons, actors and stage hands.
“The owner wants the new building to resemble the original building as much as possible,” says Garrett. “Exposing the existing structure and salvaging as many walls as possible not only kept the cost down, but also keeps the memory of the existing space and its history intact.”
Construction on the renovation of Main Street Theater began in February, 2015 and is scheduled for an August, 2015 completion. Follow the theater’s progress or contribute to the capital campaign at mainstreettheater.com