Most Popular Stories
Discover News By District
Design Commission appoints committee to review new Zach Scott theatre
Friday, February 5, 2010 by Austin Monitor
Fast forward four years. Architect Arthur Andersson has unveiled the initial plans for the new ZACH stage. In a nutshell, it would be an aluminum-sheathed facility with a ground floor artwork “marquee,” plus an 80-foot flyloft. Its only review will be at the Design Commission since no variances are required.
The theatre project would include a high-flying flyloft at one end of the property, which would rise about 10 feet above other buildings in the neighborhood. The flyloft is expected, and intended, to provide a good view of downtown.
The long side of the theatre building would be located along
The new ZACH theatre space would be located on the land adjacent to the existing Schlotzsky’s Deli and tied into the other Zach Scott campus buildings. The Lamar-side edge of the building would be, for the most part, shrouded in trees.
The building’s west-side entrance for patrons would be cloaked in glass, intended to create a kind of translucent curtain effect as patrons enter the building. Once in the entryway, the building would split into a main and lower level. Patrons would enter at mid-level.
The lower level would be where dressing rooms, rest rooms, and the orchestra pit are. The existing level would be where seating is located. The building would have no balcony.
Former Design Commissioner Joan Hyde is the landscape architect on the project. She talked about a theatre that incorporates inviting outdoor open space, a plan to preserve existing trees on the property, and a rain garden for drainage.
Design Commission members had serious concerns about orientation on two fronts: 1) The theatre’s busy entrance would not be on Lamar, a decision made to encourage pedestrian engagement with the theatre and other buildings on the Zach Scott site; and 2) it’s not completely clear how people would get from their cars to the theatre.
Commissioner James Shieh was the first to raise concerns, noting the confusion people might feel passing through, or near, a rain garden in order to get to the theatre’s entrance. Hyde noted that the project was designed to be pedestrian friendly.
The complex has a number of existing buildings, which could be considered a wonderful lark or a terrible detriment to those parking in the nearby parking lot. One of the buildings, on
Commissioners also talked about when and where people will enter the
The Design Commission agreed to its usual procedure: appointing a committee to review the project. Those committee members will be Chair Juan Cotera, David Knoll, and Eleanor McKinney.
Join Your Friends and Neighbors
We're a nonprofit news organization, and we put our service to you above all else. That will never change. But public-service journalism requires community support from readers like you. Will you join your friends and neighbors to support our work and mission?