BETHLEHEM, Pa., April 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Spillman Farmer Architects is pleased to announce the completion of the Performing Arts Center at SteelStacks, a dynamic entertainment complex on the former industrial brown field site of Bethlehem Steel located in eastern Pennsylvania. The Center will be dedicated on Thursday, April 14.
"The design grew from the profoundly meaningful history of place here," said Joseph N. Biondo AIA, Spillman Farmer Architects' Design Principal. "The Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces are iconic - they are America's historic ruins. The arts center is deeply inspired by this former industrial site and the lives that were lived here." The highlights of the 67,000 square feet building are a 450-seat venue for live performances and a two-screen state-of-the-art cinema. "We wanted the building to make a compelling statement about the future of the arts and community here in Bethlehem. This project evolved from the energy generated by the friction of past and future, the human spirit that fueled the American industrial revolution, and the elegance of a finely crafted music box," said Biondo. Photos can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/spillmanfarmer
It is not surprising that the juxtaposed phrase "raw elegance" became shorthand for the design concept. Video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/spillmanfarmer The building's glass and concrete exterior is oriented along an east-west axis to stand toe-to-toe with the now silent blast furnaces of Bethlehem Steel. The building is clad with locally manufactured pre-cast concrete panels mounted with the rough, hand-screed concrete side facing outward to reveal the surprising handcrafted nature of this common material. The experience of the building is fully realized in the interior, where visitors encounter spaces that bring them in intimate visual contact with the iconic blast furnaces.
The Center, which kicks of its concert series with a private performance by The Steve Miller Band, will be home to more than 300 live music performances and nine new yearly arts festivals.
Deirdre M. Kwiatek
Spillman Farmer Architects
SOURCE Spillman Farmer Architects