#1 Architectural Wizardry

Things to love about the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

It’s an arts center for the people, by the people. It brings 18th-century theatrical charm to a 21st-century downtown Orlando arts showplace. The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is ready for its close-up when it debuts the first-phase, 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater, the 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater and the CNL Arts Plaza fronting the main entrance. A community open house is set for Nov. 8-9. Each day until the opening, we’ll be exploring an aspect of the arts center you’re going to love.

 For details about opening events and shows, go to drphillipscenter.org.

How do you add a front porch to a building six times the size of the White House? Los Angeles-based architect Barton Myers designed a 155-foot-long canopy roof that extends 95 feet to form a great “porch” above the Dr. Phillips Center’s gleaming glass Magnolia Avenue entrance.  The canopy’s 60-foot back span and skylight allow daylight into the center’s grand lobby and harmoniously contrast with the vertical “wave wall,” a second design feature inspired by Florida’s environment. “You’re surrounded by great oceans and seas and, obviously, there’s that connection,” Myers says. What about Florida’s hurricane connection? Could that graceful canopy with its hint of Southern front-porch hospitality detach and soar, Wizard-of-Oz-style, in a major storm? Not a chance, Myers says. It has been wind-tested and ready to welcome everyone into the sparkling new arts venue regardless of the weather. Says Myers: “There’s nothing like it anywhere else.”


Categories: Metropoly