The launch of architect Hugh Hardy’s new book, Theater of Architecture from Princeton Architectural Press, comes with a film trailer, which is fitting given Hardy’s work in civic architecture. He began his career under the celebrated scenic designer Jo Mielziener and has designed and restored celebrated New York City locations like The Lincoln Center Beaumont Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the cafe in Bryant Park, the New York Botanical Garden Visitor Center and Radio City. According to Hardy, architecture is itself a theatrical experience, a form of showmanship with which the audience can readily interact. Here are videos of his work that are featured in the book.
BAM Harvey Theater and Radio City Music Hall
To Hardy, the constant dialogue between old and new should be communicated in our structures. The BAM Harvey Theater and Radio City Music Hall juxtapose history and modernity in very different ways. Radio City Music Hall has been restored to its original splendor, while the Harvey Theater layers the existing features of the buildings with newer ones added by Hardy. Hardy added contemporary features that add a non-intrusive contrast to its antiquity. The glass awning over the entrance has a dual purpose of sheltering people sitting on its steps while drawing the viewers eye upwards to the beautiful facade.
The Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center
Because the lobby of the Beaumont Theater was down a half level, people were often invisible from the Lincoln Plaza. All that changed with Hardy’s rooftop addition of the Claire Tow Theater, which both complements the original structure and showcases the buzzing activity inside, especially when it is lit up at night.
The Theater of Architecture is a book that documents the ongoing performance between architecture and its inhabitants, a topic increasingly relevant in the homogenization of today’s city building. Find the book on Amazon. See more videos from Princeton Architectural Press.