Brown University Performing Arts Center

Providence, Rhode Island, USA

An unparalleled laboratory for creative exploration and a benchmark for performance flexibility—this 94,500 square foot arts center features a one-of-a-kind multiform shoebox hall, capable of adapting its architectural form into more than a dozen configurations including recital hall, flat floor, orchestra, end stage, and experimental media. With automated and manual equipment, the floor, ceiling, and all four walls modulate. Adjustable elements include five seating gantries, acoustic curtains and reflectors, stage lifts risers and wagons, battens, seating wagons, all of which were designed and integrated with painstaking care to allow for their graceful interplay. The hall can be opened to the public through a stage-level 360-degree glass “clearstory,” or made dark with blackout curtains. Below grade, three additional venues support rehearsal and small performance for dance, theatre, and orchestras. With its elegance, openness, and stunning adaptability, the arts center will stand as an architectural icon and the creative heart of the university, the state, and beyond.

Credit: REX

Brown University






Brown University, touring acts, regional and community arts groups

Seat count

50, 110, 165, 600

Construction type

New construction

Theatre type

Arts center, Multiform theatre


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