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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.

Paper Mill Playhouse


Paper Mill Playhouse

Millburn, New Jersey


The Paper Mill Playhouse engaged M+J to conduct a comprehensive improvements study. The key issues behind this endeavor included the owner’s desire to expand the venue for a vibrant and ever-growing educational program, as well as improving the intimacy of the auditorium and examining the options for front of house public space improvements.



M+J led a study looked that examined the owner’s key issues, as outline above, as well as the deferred maintenance of the buildings, areas where accessibility could be improved and potential solutions to the shortage of administrative spaces. Paralleling the architectural study process was a capital campaign study, which informed the Paper Mill on its potential fund raising capability. This information has been useful in directing the extent of improvements that will ultimately take place. 

The fundamental mission of the design team was to analyze existing space conditions, understand current and future programming goals, and develop a program of spaces that would accommodate a full range of activities. 

Once the analysis was complete, options for the location of these spaces were then studied through a variety of potential schemes. Ultimately, the ideal scheme was a bold concept to create a more intimate auditorium, a re-configuration and addition to an existing floor that would fulfill the educational program’s needs, and several interventions that would solve the very limited but beloved lobby building.

Martinez + Johnson continues to work with the Paper Mill Playhouse on various improvements. The acoustical issues in the auditorium were addressed in 2014. Seat replacement and other visual auditorium improvements are underway with a completion date in the fall of 2018. This includes carpet replacement, house lighting efficiency and enhancement and other wall surface treatments to improve the intimacy of the space.

Owner: Paper Mill Playhouse c/o Todd Schmidt

Study Completion: 2013


Size: 60,000SF

Cost: est $10-20M