Phoenix Theatre Building Competition

Indianapolis, Indiana 2016



150 Seat Contemporary Stage Theatre


Competition Complete 

Shortlisted from 7 to 4 teams, Puzzello Architecture Practice partnered with Wil Marquez of w/purpose to form "W/P", and was asked to submit a proposal for a replacement theatre building for the Phoenix Theatre organization in Indianapolis. The theatre group desired a building that not only met the strictness of a fuctional stage performance facility  but overtly expressed the state of contemporary theatre and be a presence in the downtown area of Indianapolis.  This theatre proposal looks at the idea of breaking up the program spaces within the building into distinctive volumes and forms.  These give individual attention to each part of the building and resolves the need for different heights of different spaces shaping a public lobby.  The standing monolith that is the stage tower expressed in the exterior design is proposed to be precast poured concrete and given a softened surface through the use of special forming techniques previously researched by the architect.  The individuality of the stage tower will exist within the composition of the downtown skyline and surrounding buildings and also providing a projection surface to display signage and upcoming productions.  The idea of the stage tower as a concrete monolith has both a deep connection to nature and odd outcroppings formed by wind and water through erosion.  Early civilization arranged monoliths as earthworks creating some of the first architectural works, the most famous being Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.

The façade panels for the rest of the building rise up and down responding to the different heights of each part of the building that houses a different function incorporating composition of digitally patterned sheet metal and transparent glass.  The idea of incorporating material that can be custom shaped, cut, or cast, has limitless potential for a personal connection visually through graphic design, to the Phoenix Theatre, in addition to custom creating donor walls and other surfaces.
























































Paul Puzzello, Wil Marquez (project team)

Theatre Design Consultant:

Charles Cosler Theatre Design , New York, NY


Civil Engineering: Elements Engineering, LLC

Code Consultant: J&T Consulting, LLC

Graphics and Communication: The Sosa Group

MEP Engineering: Vector Consulting, LLC

Structural Engineering: McComas Engineering

Theatre Education Consultant: Paul Brunner Associate Professor & Head of Theatre Technology, Indiana University