Shanghai American School
Performing Arts Center
Perkins+Will designed this new state-of-the-art practice and performance facility for the Pudong campus of the Shanghai American School. Situated on a constricted site, the addition is carefully and efficiently planned to maximize use while also providing an iconic and welcoming image to users and the public. Located approximately five kilometers from the busy Shanghai Pudong International Airport, special attention is paid to the acoustical treatment of the entire facility.
Conceived of as a finely crafted wooden object suspended inside the expansive glass lobby, the main performance theater is designed to accommodate a multitude of performance types ranging from large school musical productions and assemblies to small recitals. With flexibility in mind, a tripartite hydraulic orchestra pit lift provides easy stage reconfiguration while allowing hidden seating wagons - stored below the theater house - to be elevated into the house, bringing the overall seating capacity to 750. A large trap room below the stage combined with a full fly loft and motorized rigging system provide further theatrical and performance flexibility.
Additional flexibility is found in a fully functional 245-square-meter black box theater, outfitted with a suspended gallery level and elevated catwalks. A large scene shop, storage areas, and control rooms adjoin both theaters and provide the necessary support for any range of performance needs. Complementing these theatrical functions are a series of music classrooms for band and choral as well as a multimedia production suite providing students cutting-edge digital production capabilities.