A playful mix of daylight, ambient light and focused light — sparks an immersive performance space.

The 52nd Street project is a non-profit children’s theater program in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. Funded in part by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of Design and Construction, the headquarters is the first permanent performance space and new home for the organization.

The interior build-out on two floors includes a theater, a “clubhouse space” (the living room and dining room of the organization), offices and various mentoring environments. The design encourages multi-purpose, informal use of the theater space. Natural light infuses the “black box” volume and opens it up to other areas of the facility.

The open areas feature a backlit glass garage door that creates a custom lit element when the door is up, but utilizes simple lamps/sockets in an organized pattern so when the doors close to create privacy, the space still feels adequately lit and special. The lighting strategy took full advantage of available daylight and used windows as a natural rhythm maker.

Project Highlights

• LEED Gold Certified
• Energy efficient decorative fixtures


BKSK Architects


Project Background

• 17,000 square feet
• 156-seat black box theater

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