In 2014, we were named one of three finalists to design the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center. The international design invitational shortlisted Henning Larsen Architects, REX Architecture, and UN Studio as finalists. In 2015, REX Architecture was selected to move forward with their design proposal. It was this competition that kick-started our work in North America.
According to our architectural vision, visitors needed not purchase a ticket to experience the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center – Or any cultural building. We envisioned a theatre open to more than actors and audience; that serves as an active and inviting role as a place of community within the redeveloped World Trade Center complex.
The proposal sought to stage human interaction and choreograph social experiences through a design that utilized natural daylight and green spaces to draw visitors inside and encourage new connections. Much like the urban experience in greater Manhattan, guests pass through the Performing Arts Center’s main thoroughfares, niches, parks, and squares as they move through the building. The core concept was to provide an ideal venue for performing arts while offering a gathering place and social destination to the broader community.
Our proposal for the Performing Arts Center embodies our commitment to Nordic-rooted principles of social accessibility. Standing at the base of the 1776-foot tall Freedom Tower, the design integrated the World Trade Center complex into the public domain and stood as an active, vibrant gateway between the memorial site and greater New York City.
The opening of our New York office on September 24th promises greater opportunity for the firm to bring Scandinavian-inspired design to North America. With six projects underway across the United States and Canada, Henning Larsen continues to create new spaces for creativity, community, public discourse, and education.
Located at the northeast corner of the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan, the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center (PAC) will be a global marketplace for art, ideas, and culture. The center, designed by Rex, is expected to open in 2020.