The much-publicized American National Theatre, Inc. (Sean Cullen, President) presented the architectural model of its proposed three-theatre facility in Lower Manhattan on Monday, January 26th at The Odeon restaurant (145 West Broadway) to members of the press and supporters of the organization.

The American National Theatre building will be composed of three state-of-the-art theatres, a 1,000-seat proscenium, a 700-seat thrust, and a 400-seat black box. The striking structure was created through a collaborative effort between The ANT, Richard Olcott, a design partner in Polshek Partnership Architects and Steve Friedlander of Auerbach.Pollock.Friedlander. Olcott designed the impressive glass and steel structure to be incorporated into the plan for the arts center at the WTC site, conceived by architect Daniel Libeskind. Friedlander had the task of planning a space that would both reflect the vision of The American National Theatre as well as the premiere cultural center in Lower Manhattan, which could also be adapted for alternative locations throughout Manhattan.


ANT Aerial View

The vision for the building features a variety of gathering areas off of the great hall, which would be open to the public during the day and evening. These spaces amenities would include a restaurant, a gift shop and viewing room for audio-visual presentations on all of the current and future theatrical works at the theatre, along with news about the originating theatres, their artists and their cities, which produce the selected plays and musicals for presentation at The ANT.

“Richard and Steve have dreamed this dream of a national theatre right along with us. They worked tirelessly to create a building that, like the mission of The ANT is unique in its concept and scope,” says Cullen.

Friedlander allocated and designed the space configuration for this full-service theatre operation, considering the multi-purpose requirements for The American National Theatre as well as the available footprint at the WTC site. “While the design is clearly specific to the WTC site, it will be adaptable and quite easy to move to any other site,” says Friedlander.

The American National Theatre, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to establishing a national theatre that will identify and present America’s most excellent and distinguished new theatrical works – both plays and musicals – in a full-service three-theatre facility in New York City.

Polshek Partnership Architects is an award-winning, internationally recognized architectural firm now in its fortieth year. The seven partners proceed from the shared belief that the most elegant architectural responses are both technically and socially relevant to their time and place. Characterized by a collaborative process, the architectural solutions are rooted in extensive research involving the analysis of context, program, public image and environmental and construction technologies. The firm's extensive portfolio of projects for the performing and visual arts and academic and not-for-profit institutions includes the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Hall Restoration and Renovation, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Museum of Art Renovation and Expansion, The Santa Fe Opera, Omaha Performing Arts Center and the Center for the Arts Theater at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco.

Auerbach-Pollock-Friedlander Performing Arts/Media Facilities Planning and Design, and Auerbach - Glasow, Architectural Lighting Design and Consulting, are among the leading theatre, media facilities and lighting consulting firms in practice today. Founded in 1972, the firm has developed over the past 30 years from a small, regional entity into an international firm with an extensive portfolio of award-winning projects.

Polshek Partnership's relationship with Auerbach-Pollock-Friedlander dates back to 1987, with the initial planning and design of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theatre in San Francisco. Over the course of more than 15 years, the firms have teamed to provide excellence in performance venue design with significant, award-winning facilities, including the Santa Fe Opera Theater; Copia - The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts; the Hayden Planetarium in the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History; Symphony Space and the recently-opened Judy and Arthur Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York.