Ford Center for the Performing Arts

Conceived in the tradition of the great Broadway theatres, the 1,800-seat theatre occupies a compact site located in the middle of a city block facing Vancouver Library Square on Homer Street. On the street façade, the stone base of the building cuts away to reveal the gently arching volume of the auditorium within. Small metal shingles reflect the changing skies and in the evening the neon glow of an urban centre.

A five-storey glass cone forms the theatre entrance, parting the opaque street wall and breaking the cornice line of the fašade. The transparent cone lights and exposes the sequence of curving, layered lobby spaces within. The circulation path begins at the street level entrance lobby and ascends a series of dramatic stairs that fill an oval atrium. A faceted four-storey mirrored wall rises with the curving stair fragmenting and reflecting the activity of three upper lobbies served by bars and lounges for the orchestra and balconies. Within the performance hall, the intimate scale of the balcony and dress circle is achieved by a maximum distance from seat to stage of only 27 metres. The glass cone and a continuous glazed slot facing south introduce daylight and views of the surrounding city to the matinee audience while revealing the interior scene of theatre-goers.