Design revealed for new arts venue at the World Trade Center

The translucent marble and glass cube-shaped Ronald O Perelman Performing Arts Center will open in 2020

A design of translucent marble and glass was unveiled yesterday for a long-stalled performing arts venue at the World Trade Center.

Singer Barbra Streisand is to serve as the chair of the board of the Ronald O Perelman Performing Arts Center, which will be dedicated to new works. The cube-shaped building would aim to commemorate the 9/11 tragedy and reflect the vitality of the city, board members said.

Made from translucent, veined marble and glass, the building will look like a mystery box, according to its architect, Joshua Prince-Ramus. During the day, it will have a dull sheen, but at night, the three-level building will light up like a paper lantern. The 99,000 sq ft (9,197 sq metres) building will include three auditoriums and a rehearsal room.

Because artistic directors need flexibility with new productions, the rooms and halls will feature movable walls to create up to 11 configurations, Prince-Ramus said. The largest configuration would hold as many as 1,200 people for events such as rock concerts.

Maggie Boepple, the president and director of the centre, said the space would be both a birthplace for new shows and a community centre, with amenities such as a cafe and yoga classes. The centre also will be the home of the Tribeca film festival.

The cost of the centre has been put at $250m (180m). The billionaire Ronald Perelman has donated $75m, but a further $75m in donations is required before the project opens in early 2020.

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