GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA
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.