Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Broadway Theatre is Green

Roundabout Theatre Company is set to re-open Henry Miller's Theatre on West 43rd Street this fall with their revival of Bye Bye Birdie. This is exciting news, and not just because we don't get new Broadway theatres every day... the new Miller Theatre is Broadway's first green theatre. Here's some info from The Durst Organization and Tishman Construction Corporation, who built the venue:

The 1,055-seat house is located inside the new 55-story Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park and will be New York’s first LEED®-rated theater. The theater and the Bank of America Tower are an Empire State Development Corporation project and a joint venture of The Durst Organization Inc. and Bank of America, N.A.

Henry Miller’s Theatre is the first new Broadway theater built in more than a decade and sets new standards for environmentally sustainable design and construction of performing arts venues. The 50,000-square-foot theater is located behind the preserved and restored neo-Georgian façade of the original 1918 theater.

Creating the best possible indoor environment for audiences, performers and production staff was a top priority for the design and construction team. This has been achieved through 95% air filtration, carbon dioxide sensors to maximize fresh air supply, and the selection of healthy, low-emitting materials. Environmentally responsible materials used in the theater’s construction include Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood products used extensively in finishes; high-recycled content wall panels and baseboards; locally sourced marble flooring and countertops; and waterless urinals to reduce consumption of potable water.

Green construction at Henry Miller’s Theatre was multi-faceted. A minimum of 25 percent of materials was locally sourced (originating within a 500-mile radius), supporting the regional economy and reducing emissions from transportation. Forty-five percent of cement in the foundation and superstructure concrete mix designs was replaced with blast furnace slag, a by-product of iron manufacturing, significantly reducing the amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. Waste was reused/reduced: a minimum 85 percent of construction and demolition debris was diverted from landfill and instead was recycled.

In addition, Henry Miller’s Theatre breaks new ground in washroom availability for a Broadway playhouse. There are 22 fixtures in the women’s (three times the code requirement) and 10 fixtures in the men’s (one and a half times the code requirement) bathrooms. The new theater will be fully handicapped accessible with 20 wheelchair positions.

The mezzanine is at street level in the theater and patrons go down one level to the orchestra, where two-thirds of the seating is located. Support for a sophisticated sound system is integrated into the new theater, as well as a larger orchestra pit and a fully functional fly-tower and set-loading facilities. Other amenities include improved public circulation and concessions areas, with a spacious lobby bar at the orchestra level, a bar and café at the ground level, and a restaurant on the upper mezzanine.

The new theatre is slated to open on September 10. I am looking forward to checking it out!

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