March 7, 2005
As the Hearst Tower nears completion
in Midtown Manhattan, Foster and Partners will be designing
its second major project in New York, the New Globe Theater
on Governors Island.
The $78 million project will be a modern
adaptation of Shakespeares Globe in London. Containing
room for 1,200 spectators, distributed through a standing
section and three upper circles, the theater-in-the-round
will be located inside the historic Castle Williams, built
in 1811 on the northwest corner of the island.
Image courtesy Foster
Foster & Partners Deputy Chairman
David Nelson says the firm will restore the castle to its
original form, removing evidence of a prison, the structures
most recent program. The castles bright red sandstone,
he notes, will become a centerpiece to the theaters
entrance. The Globes final design, meanwhile, will likely
include either metal or concrete for the theater itself, and
a glass wall between the theater and the castle. We
decided to stay away from medieval timber and move toward
the modern. Its a wonderful, liberating thing,
The effort is part of a larger scheme
for Governors Island, which was transferred to New York State
and New York City in 2003. Early possibilities for further
development include park space, environmental centers, educational
and not-for-profit organizations, arts and cultural organizations,
conferencing and hospitality , and heritage Tourism and Entertainment.
Future, plans, adds Nelson, will include ferry strategies
to help people get to the island which boasts stunning
views of Manhattan and the Statue of Libertyin about
five to ten minutes.