Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe, Arizona, USA

This 80,000 square foot arts center is located within a 17-acre art park on the banks of Tempe’s Town Lake. The building’s monolithic roof encloses a multi-story “street” where the performance venues and an art gallery sit as distinct building forms. The public spaces incorporate several art pieces and offer striking views of the Rio Salado and Papago Mountains. To serve disparate professional, educational, and community users, we designed a 600-seat multipurpose theatre with demountable orchestra shell, adjustable forestage extension, full fly tower, and four seating levels that stack the audience vertically around the stage, creating an engaging interplay. We designed the Tempe Center’s studio theatre with collapsible seating, reconfigurable staging, and versatile rigging and lighting systems to provide unrestricted creative opportunities.

Take a virtual tour of the center.

Tempe Center for the Arts
Credit: John Edward Linden Photography
Credit: Michael Masengarb/Architekton
Credit: John Edward Linden Photography

City of Tempe


Barton Myers Associates | Architekton


Arup Acoustics


A Ludwig Dance Theatre, Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts, Arizona Wind Symphony, Childsplay, Desert Dance Theater, Tempe Community Chorus, Tempe Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and Tempe Symphony Orchestra

Seat count

200, 600

Construction type

New construction

Theatre type

Arts center, Flexible theatre, Multipurpose theatre, Community


Programming, concept design, theatre planning, and theatre equipment design and specification



Venue website


Credit: Theatre Projects
Credit: Michael Masengarb/Architekton
Tempe Center for the Arts
Credit: Peter Rutti/Barton Myers Associates

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