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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.

Planet Hollywood TPA


planet hollywood theatre for the performing arts

las vegas, nevada

At 7,500 seats, the Theatre for the Performing Arts at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino has served as the largest theatrical venue for live entertainment in Las Vegas for over 30 years. The stand-alone structure in the Planet Hollywood Complex was in need of refurbishment when M+J was retained.



Of special concern to the new operators of the venue was the challenge of using the large house for smaller acts. The primary challenge in this exercise was the need to outfit the theatre with a system of flexible “partitioning” in order to reduce the number of seats in the audience chamber quickly from +7,000 to between 3,200 and 3,500. This concept was considered by the previous operators of the Theatre but was abandoned due to the technical and structural difficulties encountered in trying to creatively and effectively execute such a reduction.  Although the current space was a finished theatre with the generous dimensions and spatial qualities, the venue was outdated and showing signs of wear in its’ public lobbies and front-of-house areas.



The new design transforms the “house” both spatially and visually and the experience for its patrons and performers alike are radically altered from the overly large presentation platform. M+J devised a way to address the lack of flexibility in the size of the venue and the seating configuration by creating designs for a $2M fabric mesh partition.  Multi-layered walls of fabric mesh partitions, decoratively lit from the front follow the existing circular ceiling soffit, creating an architecturally integrated room divider in the existing theatre. Thus patrons entering the theatre in its modified form find a space that feels natural in its layout and compatible with the dome above the audience chamber. This material was selected to provide the appropriate visual barriers to reduce the apparent size of the room but to leave the ventilation and acoustical characteristics of the space unchanged.  To carry the weight of the curtains, the building’s supporting infrastructure needed to be reconfigured. By raising or lowering the fabric mesh curtains, the house can be physically adapted to suit a 7,500-seat performance or a more intimate 3,000-seat hall, with no loss of the acoustics.

The finishes within the theatre were updated as budgets allowed using a mixture of materials from elegantly detailed fabrics to vibrantly lighted metal mesh. At the higher end of the range sufficient monies were budgeted to refinish all of the existing lobbies, replacing carpeting and wall finishes and lighting elements. New seats have been provided for the areas placed in the reduced “Broadway” venue.  Other seating sections that are visible in the larger music venue remain, as they existed.

Owner: Base entertainment c/o lauren reid

Completion: 2008

Size: 150,000SF

Cost: $19.5M