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1001 G Street Northwest 250W
Washington, DC, 20001
United States

(202) 333-4480

With a professional working relationship spanning three decades, Gary F Martinez FAIA and Thomas E Johnson FAIA founded Martinez+Johnson Architecture in 1994 to bring their design sensitivities to institutional and cultural projects in urban locations. The 25-architect firm has since established an expertise in three main architectural areas – the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic structures, institutional buildings in urban areas and community settings, and the design and planning of performing arts venues.

Known for a thoughtful design approach to public facilities, M+J develops an intimate understanding of the needs of users, patrons, and operators destined to inhabit the projects of the firm. M+J looks to the future in their design aesthetic even when the context may be firmly rooted in the past and executes creative solutions to facilities both new and historic, where flexibility, ease of operation, and high but versatile performance characteristics are requisite. Venues express aspirational values and goals of the communities within which they are located, and at the same time conform to issues of economic value at the highest levels of environmental sustainability.

ArteCentro Theatres




Martinez+Johnson Archicture worked with the Guatemalan philanthropic Paiz Foundation on several venues in Guatemala City for the purposes of educational and performing arts use. These facilities included a 1930s movie theatre in the Art Deco style, an amphitheatre in a city park, and several less orthodox performance spaces.



M+J designed a new theatre for the existing ArteCentro facility in the historic center of Guatemala City (El Centro Historico). Here local youths learn a range of artistic skills, including classical music, painting, and sculpture, which they then use to educate the next generation of students. This process, called La Sistema de Guatemala, has similar roots to a successful program in Venezuela.



The new ArteCentro Theatre incorporates an adjacent property to provide parking, a new 400-seat theatre, and connections to all four levels of the existing center. Considered a significant modern building, it was imperative the addition and renovations were executed in a respectful manner which complimented, rather than overshadowed, the original facility. Equally significant was the adjacency to the Congreso, the national parliament building situated next to the ArteCentro Theatre. The new theatre dramatically expands the offerings of the institution, as well as its ability to fulfill its mission of providing Guatemalans with artistic opportunities.

Owner:  Fundacion Paiz c/o Georgiana Young

Study Completion: 2012

Size: Varies

Cost: Varies