Auerbach Pollock Friedlander Completes Work on the BAM Richard B. Fisher Building

NEW YORK - Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, Performing Arts/Media Facilities Planning and Design, was the theatre consultant for the recently opened Richard B. Fisher Building at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). The firm worked closely with architects H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture and acoustician Akustiks on an initial space planning study and subsequent design of the performance, support spaces, and theatrical equipment systems. The seven-story building is the first new building construction at the Academy in more than a century.

Richard B. Fisher BuildingDriving the project was a clear artistic mission led by Joseph V. Melillo, the Academy’s executive producer. He sought to add a more intimate, flexible space to the campus with the goal of opening up performances for a new range of artists. The result is the 250-seat Fishman Space and Scripps Stage which can be configured as for a proscenium stage, thrust stage, theatre-in-the-round or a flat floor

“This is a game changer for BAM artistically,” said Melillo in a recent New York Times article. “There is a range of artists who have never worked at BAM who I’ve invited to work here.”

Fisher Hillman Studio“The flexibility was critical, but so was the efficiency of each change over,” said Steven Friedlander, Principal in Charge for Auerbach Pollock Friedlander. “BAM’s mission relied on keeping the operating costs low so that the space could be a performance venue for local artists and be an affordable destination for the surrounding community.“

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander’s scope of work also included the Fisher Hillman Studio - a second performance venue and rehearsal hall that will serve as an incubator for new work. The 4th floor Studio can seat up to 125 for performances. One entire wall of the studio is glass, which provides a panoramic view of the surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Fishman Space and Scripps Stage“Achieving BAM’s vision of a building for the community was the objective for the entire design team,“ said Don Guyton, Auerbach’s Project Manager. “The community was very excited about what BAM was trying to accomplish and the team, fueled by that excitement, worked persistently to bring it to fruition.”

A theatre workshop, dressing rooms, a roof terrace with event space, a two-story lobby, offices and administrative support space complete the 40,000 square foot facility. The building is the first LEED Gold certified theatre in Brooklyn.

Since 2004, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander’s collaboration with BAM has been a true partnership. The firm’s other projects with BAM included reseating and theatrical systems upgrades to the Harvey Theatre and technical upgrades to the Howard Gilman Opera House.


Fishman Space and Scripps Stage

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided theatre consulting services including space planning, layout for seating and sightlines, and theatrical system design for the 250-seat Fishman Space and Scripps Stage. The flexible space’s seating can be configured in multiple ways, including:

• Proscenium

• Thrust stage

• Theatre-in-the-round or square

• Flat floor

The flexibility of the space allows a broad range of local and visiting artists to perform there as part of BAM’s broad and inclusive vision for the project.

The venue features:

• Variable seating arrangements

• A 21’ high tension-wire grid

• State-of-the-art technology/infrastructure

• Structural connection points throughout the room

• Resilient floor for movement intensive performances

Fisher Hillman Studio

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided theatre consulting services including space planning, layout for seating and sightlines, and theatrical system design for the 1,600-square-foot Fisher Hillman Studio. The Studio seats up to 125 and supports the main venue for rehearsals and the development of new work. The space will also be used by the education department, humanities department and community groups. Located on the 4th floor of the building, the studio features large windows with views to Downtown Brooklyn. Blackout shades are employed during performances as needed.

This space features:

• Performance and rehearsal lighting system

• Structural connection points for variable rigging systems

• Resilient floor for movement intensive performances

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