Writers Theatre has been captivating Chicagoland audiences for over 20 years with sold-out performances, serving approximately 35,000 patrons each season. The theater will be moving into a new permanent home located in Glencoe, Illinois. The building will not only house its existing program, but provide an opportunity for creativity and growth.
The nature of the building and program focused on close coordination with all members of the design team. The mechanical design provided unique challenges for conditioning a variety of specialty spaces while not sacrificing acoustical comfort for thermal comfort. This included coordination of low vibration components on mechanical equipment, optimizing fan speeds, and designing low velocity duct systems throughout critical areas of the building. As such, areas with theatrical performances include the use of underground ductwork, displacement ventilation, and radiant heating, which improved the acoustics and aesthetics that are critical to the program. The building utilizes unique electrical systems serving specialty lighting and audio visual and production studios.
The new building will provide intimacy between the actor and the audience with a 250-seat theater and detached seating banks allowing performance space behind and around the audience, and also features a smaller, flexible 99-seat theater. The lobby will be used as a gathering space for Writers Theatre patrons and was designed to provide a space appropriate for black-tie functions and special events.
The project is designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED©) NCv2009 Gold level certification.