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Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre
New York City
Karlsberger Architecture

Renovation adds seating while maintaining theater's intimacy

© Z. Jedrus

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The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, located on West 46th Street in Manhattan, is one of three theaters owned and maintained by the nonprofit Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout developed the new center to support its artistic mission of fostering emerging talent in playwriting, performance, and stagecraft. The center includes the 424-seat Laura Pels Theatre as well as a new "black box" rehearsal theater, patrons’ lounge, and administrative offices.

Roundabout engaged the architect to convert an existing but unsatisfactory theater to meet its needs. The architect decided the key to making the design work was an understanding and appreciation for the existing building's 1960s-era design. Its plan used the volumes created in the original design and reinforced the character of these spaces with cleaner lines and subtle colors. It also attempted to maintain the intimacy of the main theater while inserting a new steel-structured balcony, which created space for 74 new seats, and moving the theater’s technical booth to the catwalk level, under an existing street-level plaza.

During construction, all of the existing theater’s surfaces, seating, mechanical systems, electrical systems, and support spaces were replaced. The architect's design also delivered a new "house," which included all-new rigging, lighting, dimming, and sound systems. Critical behind-the-scenes support spaces, such as green rooms, dressing rooms, and accessible toilets for the staff, actors, and public, were also reorganized and rebuilt. The result of this extensive renovation is a completely new theater with added seating capacity, excellent sight-lines, and a new level of patron comfort.

Formal name of Project:
Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre

New York City

Gross square footage:
26,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost:
$5.5 Million

Roundabout Theatre Company

Karlsberger Architecture, P.C.
192 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212)685-2883
Fax: (212) 779-9592

From Left to Right: Thomas Gilligo (Karlsberger - Senior Architectural Staff),
Robert Ascione (Design Collective of New York, Ltd.), Frank Eilam, AIA
(Karlsberger - Principal), and Fred Basch, AIA (Karlsberger - Project Manager).


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