City approves new home for A.R.T. in Allston

The A.R.T. selected Haworth Tompkins for its experience with sustainable design and urban development, as well as approaches to democratizing the theatergoing experience and to the role that theaters can play within their communities.

The new center for creativity and performance is designed to meet Harvard’s ambitious sustainability goals and priorities and to serve as a model for the next generation of cultural architecture through its core principles of openness, artistic flexibility, collaboration, sustainability, and regenerative design. Both the center and the accompanying residential building are pursuing Living Building Challenge core certification from the International Living Future Institute.

“Theater is about exploring our shared humanity in a space where people of all backgrounds come together and are invited to open their hearts. Through an inspiring and collaborative design process, our building aims to extend that open invitation to Allston and the wider world, and to provide a framework that supports the expansion of creative practices within a radical yet simple architecture of adaptable space, natural tactile materials, fresh air, and light,” said Roger Watts, director of Haworth Tompkins.

Through several years of collaborative conversations with the community, the BPDA, the A.R.T., and the architect teams, the center for creativity and performance underwent considerable refinement to dovetail the spatial and urban program with the existing Allston neighborhood, the emerging urban plan, and A.R.T.’s developing organizational vision.

A.R.T. expects to break ground in 2024 and begin producing in the new facility in late fall 2026.

“Thanks to our incredible design team, our Harvard collaborators, the community, A.R.T.’s boards and staff, and the BPDA, we’ve arrived at this essential moment: the opportunity to build a center for creativity and performance that serves A.R.T.’s ever-expanding vision of how to expand the boundaries of theater in partnership with our greater community,” said A.R.T. Executive Director Kelvin Dinkins Jr.

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