On Saturday, November 17th, our engineers had the opportunity to take a tour of one of our current projects, The Alliance Theatre.
The Alliance Theatre Transformation features a complete replacement of the structure in the audience chamber and 2 new levels in the back-of-house space.Originally designed and built in 1966, the catwalks, balcony, orchestra level, and basement level in the front-of-house were all removed and replaced. The basement utilizes a grade beam system to mediate the existing caisson layout with the new column layout, and similarly at the catwalk level, an intermediate steel grid was used to work the new catwalk layout to existing hang tabs that supported the original catwalk. The orchestra level is a tiered concrete slab around the perimeter, with a sloped soffit seating bowl in the center. Above the orchestra level, is a steel balcony with a cantilevered concrete slab at the lowest row.
The signature look of the new theatre will be based on custom millwork panels that are being fabricated and shipped to site. Because of the precise nature of the panels, all existing conditions and new construction are continuously being scanned to verify fit up. This requires close coordination and continued involvement in the project deeper into the CA process. Other challenges included temporary stability and bracing of the 90’ tall perimeter walls during demolition, a vibration sensitive, elevated rehearsal floor above the back of house, and coordination with the various requirements of the theater consultant and acoustician.