IBI Group designs Boca Raton’s Center for Arts and Innovation
Boca Raton City Council, Florida has recently issued approval to enter into negotiations around a ground lease for the development of the Center for Arts and Innovation, designed by IBI Group with key design leadership from its Toronto office. The project aims to become a permanent home of creativity and business for the city’s professional cultural institutions.
Toronto-based architect Ari Bose is the project’s design lead, and Toronto-based designer and thought leader Ana-Francisca de la Mora were key players on the project team. The principles for the new Center for the Arts and Innovation focuses on the versatility of the spaces, community engagement, and technology.
The complex will encompass six areas that range in seating capacity from 99 to 3,500, with a capacity of 6,000 when all spaces are used simultaneously.
A central design aspect of the project is integrating the existing Mizner Park amphitheater into the new complex. The current Mizner Park amphitheater will be transformed into a 3,500 seat, open-air, bowl-style setting equipped with a cantilevered “curtain” that can be raised and lowered to transform the stage into a smaller black box theater.
A new concert and performance hall will be added, as well as a multi-use roof-top terrace, 99-seat jewel box performance hall, and an open-air lobby placed above ground level. Many areas within the facility will be available for community use, including outdoor public gathering spaces.
“We have envisioned a project that leverages technology and shape-shifting architecture to create the performance spaces of the future. This will allow the performing facilities to expand and contract, and leverage indoor and outdoor venues to create countless numbers of programming and viewing experiences,” said Ari Bose, IBI Group’s Principal-In-Charge.
The project will add a permanent, floating, overhead canopy with kinetic moving elements to shield audiences from sun, rain, and wind, and create a breezy, cooling effect.
The underside of the canopy is also designed as a night-time projection surface. Video projectors, LED screens, and other broadcast equipment will be used throughout the facility, and will have the ability to be viewed in all spaces simultaneously, as well as the exterior of the building for outdoor audiences.
“The City of Boca Raton has almost every desirable amenity for its residents, businesses and tourists,” said President of the Boca Raton Arts District Exploratory Corporation (BRADEC) Board, Andrea Virgin. “But the one component that has been out of step with the otherwise world-class nature of our city is our cultural infrastructure. We hope to resolve this gap in our community by making an exciting and iconic place for all to gather and enjoy.”