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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.

St Mary's College of Maryland Bruce Davis Theatre


St Mary's College of Maryland bruce davis theatre

St Mary's City, Maryland

M+J worked with the Planning, Theater, and Music departments to comprehensively plan and design the institution’s performing arts facilities, all of which serve multiple purposes for the 2000 student liberal arts college in southern Maryland.



Following the goals set forth in the master plan the venue underwent significant architectural renovations. The overall condition of the facility and its systems had declined over the decades, leading to significant safety and functional problems. Deteriorated seating, lighting, and sound systems marginalized the flexibility and capacity of the theater to support the academic program. The original configuration of the balcony in the theater provided poor sight lines for some seats and posed significant safety issues and building code violations. To date, the space is primarily used for theatrical instruction and student presentations.



M+J created a new Black Box Theater out of the existing 6,400sf venue. The renovation removed the existing balcony,  upgraded the seating,  as well as provided new theater lighting, a new light and sound booth, new lobby entry, more flexible seating, new acoustical wall panels, and new flooring. Additionally more storage was added and the existing rooftop mechanical air handling unit was replaced. The theater renovation along with a prior Amphitheatre Study both involved the utilization and revitalization of an existing space. A third and final initiative carried out by M+J for the College involved the programming and planning of the College of Music, reviewing their criteria and performance needs and previously generated programmatic documentation.  

The college is a rapidly emerging institution in this area, having developed a school and program in Italy, and needing new facilities here in the United States. All three projects are conceived as supportive of a Master Plan that creates a cohesive campus.

Owner: st mary's college of maryland c/o Dan Branigan

Completion: 2009

Size: 64,000SF

Cost: $1.6M


- Professor Merideth Taylor, TFMS Department Chair