Look Inside the World Trade Center’s Extraordinary New Performing Arts Center
Sheathed in richly veined marble, the cube-shaped theater complex was designed by architecture firm Rex and features interiors by Rockwell Group
In the shadow of the nation’s tallest skyscraper, one of the final pieces of the World Trade Center site has made its long-awaited debut. Sheathed in nearly 5,000 marble tiles that emit an ethereal glow when night falls, the Perleman Performing Arts Center—also known as WTC PAC—has been in various stages of development since virtually the beginning of the Ground Zero rebuilding process, in the wake of 9/11. The cube-shaped cultural hub, which cost an estimated $560 million, will provide a home for an array of performances spanning theater, dance, music, chamber opera, and film.
Designed by architect Joshua Ramus and his firm, Rex, the ultimate version of the theater complex was unveiled in a star-studded ceremony just after the 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Located along the northern edge of the 16-acre site, the 129,000-square-foot building contains a trio of black-box theaters that can be configured into eleven different arrangements, accommodating audience sizes ranging from 99 to 1,200 people, thanks to movable walls that retract into the ceiling. Additionally, Davis Brody Bond served as executive architect on the project in collaboration with theater consultancy Charcoalblue.
In addition, the entrance, lobby, and restaurant (helmed by Marcus Samuelsson) were conceived by award-winning firm Rockwell Group, known for its sleek spaces and bold theatrical sets. The dining destination, dubbed Metropolis, will open to the public later this month and is slated to offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. In addition to the sculptural lighting designs that adorn the ceiling, the lobby-level eatery also features a site-specific installation by Brooklyn artist Jean Shin, who created a 16-foot-long wall of mother-of-pearl buttons in the shape of the New York harbor.
Of course, the main draw will be the performances, which include a one-man show starring Laurence Fishburne, an opera about U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, and an exuberant rendition of Cats reimagined in drag ballroom culture. For a full schedule of the inaugural season, click here.
Explore the building below.