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1412 I Street Northwest
Washington, DC, 20005
United States

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.

Kings Theatre

Photos by Whitney Cox

 
 

Kings Theatre

Brooklyn, New York


This historic theatre has faced years of neglect and vandalism. M+J recently completed a full restoration of the front-of-house spaces while providing a new, state-of-the-art stagehouse.

 

Opportunity

This facility is one of the most beautiful theatres in the United States and was originally designed by the architectural masters, Rapp and Rapp. It is located in a once thriving shopping district of Brooklyn along Flatbush Avenue and is potentially one of the major components in this district’s pending renaissance. The essential scope of work for this landmark theatre included renovation and rehabilitation work, with the end goal of creating a modern multi-purpose performance venue for music concerts, theatre, dance, comedy, and special events. The focus of the redevelopment project was to restore the significant, historic front-of-house areas to their original grandeur while integrating the equipment, technology, and support spaces necessary to transform a classic movie palace into a venue suitable for hosting today’s live productions. The goal of balancing these preservation concerns with the creation of a modern performance facility was one of the most challenging aspects of the project. The design team met the Secretary of the Interior’s Guidelines for the Rehabilitation of Historic Structures for all restored areas, both interior and exterior.

 

Creation

New seating layouts based on comfort and sightlines were provided with a final seating capacity in the range of 3,200 seats. The orchestra level was re-raked and the balcony level seating tiers over-built. The acoustical performance capabilities, and architectural and theatrical lighting were improved. The patron support facilities were be expanded to include new restrooms and new concessions areas spread throughout. The pre-existing stagehouse facility was under-sized for the anticipated program. The stage had limited wing space, the loading dock area was inadequate for production load-in, and the dressing room and support facilities were insufficient. A new steel structure, providing the necessary increased width and support spaces, was erected and optimal loading scenarios were addressed.


Owner: Arts Center Enterprises, c/o David Anderson, President

Completion: 2015

Size: 310,500SF

Cost: $93M

AWARDS: 2014 NEW YORK STATE, OFFICE OF PARKS, RECREATION AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION – New York State Historic Preservation Award

2014 NYC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION – LUCY G MOSES PRESERVATION AWARD

2015 BROOKLYN BUILDING AWARD FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION

2015 SOCIETY OF AMERICAN REGISTERED ARCHITECTs | NY COUNCIL – GOLD AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

2015 NY PUBLIC DESIGN AWARd

2015 32nd annual Building design+construction reconstruction awards – platinum award

2016 AGC of america | alliant build america award - Building renovation  $10-199M

2016 The Greater New York Construction User Council - cultural award

 
 
AFTER ALMOST FOUR DECADES OF HEARTBREAK, THIS IS NEXT TO A MIRACLE AND A VERY BIG DEAL FOR BROOKLYN RESIDENTS.

WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A BEAUTIFUL NEW PERFORMING ARTS VENUE RIGHT IN THE HEART OF BROOKLYN THAT WILL DRAW PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER AND REVITALIZE THE COMMERCIAL STRIP ALONG FLATBUSH AVENUE.

- Brooklyn Borough Historian Ron Schweiger
 
 
 

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