Performing Arts Pavilion at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts

The program called for a 500+ seat proscenium theater for drama, dance, music and other events that can accommodate the seasonal population fluctuations of a resort community. This was achieved with an unconventional sectional configuration that provides a high degree of versatility by placing 200 seats on the orchestra level and 300 seats in the balcony. It allows an intimate setting for small community theatre productions and events by using the orchestra level only. Adding the balcony level capacity provides a full 500 seats.

This dual use is further reinforced by sectional characteristics that create distinct entry sequences. The orchestra level and lobby are partially below ground to align with the adjacent Arts and Education wing, offering convenient access for community events. Consequently, the public street entrance, used for full-venue events, is at balcony level, allowing an overview of the public activity in the lobby below. The shape of this lobby and the outdoor performance space is the result of a unique building configuration that connects public activity to the adjacent park and larger landscape.

The Performing Arts Pavilion, the newest addition to The Jackson Center for the Arts, provides a 500 seat proscenium theatre in a 35,000 square foot pavilion that includes public lobby space, music practice rooms and theatre support areas.

The program called for a theater with the capability for a broad range of performance types and a seating configuration to accommodate varying audience sizes. The site characteristics were major considerations, as the pavilion is attached to a community Arts and Education facility located in downtown Jackson Hole, a place known for its natural beauty.

The primary components of the facility are the theatre and its lobby. The performance hall provides a proscenium theatre configured to respond to the divers needs of drama, dance, film and musical performances. The configuration provides a high degree of versatility by placing 200 seats on the orchestra level and 300 seats in the balcony, an arrangement that allows an intimate setting for small community theatre productions by using the orchestra level only. Adding the balcony level capacity provides a full 500 seats.

The lobby connects the theatre to the community in multiple ways. The space is defined by the sculpted surface of the theatre balcony suspended above, a structural scheme that allowed an exterior wall of uninterrupted glass. The transparency gives the public a view into the activity of the lobby which takes place below the illuminated wood clad balcony form, and also focuses the view outward to the iconic slopes of the mountains. A bridge along the glass wall connects the east and west portals to the theatre balcony. Stairs at each end lead down to the main lobby and orchestra level of the theatre. Outside, the contour of the adjacent garden slopes down to meet the lobby floor, creating an amphitheatre that extends activity outdoors and provides a venue for casual performance.

Along the primary façade to the east, a long canopy calls attention to the theatre entrance, becomes the lobby ceiling and extends south to provide sun shading. Program elements visible from the street include music rehearsal room and a ‘green’ room that double as a community meeting space. An exposed concrete fly tower and wood slat siding express a utilitarian nature consistent with the local built environment. The building ties the drama of theatre with the local landscape, creating a unique venue for the region.


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