PAC NYC Perelman Performing Arts Center
New York, NY

DBI Projects is incredibly proud to have been part of this landmark project at the World Trade Center, having partnered with the nascent arts organization to develop the original concept for the building and then to work through its execution.

The creation of a performing arts center was key to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s World Trade Center Master Plan (2003). DBI managed the international design competition that led to the selection of Joshua Ramus of REX. With REX on board, DBI conducted an RFP process to procure all other members of the project team and manage the design process as the project moved forward.

Former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg described the project as “one of the most complicated construction projects in modern history”. This was true of the coordination between all the entities involved in approving and overseeing the work – the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, all stakeholders on the site, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and major private supporters of the project - and for the technical complexities of the project site. The below-ground conditions involved Subway and PATH trains running adjacent to the building’s foundations, a large ventilation system serving the site’s infrastructure, and an emergency egress vehicular passageway that the building structure had to be threaded around.

Architecturally, the building had the challenge of being respectful to the site while meeting the ambitious aspirations of the theater's capabilities. To achieve this REX conceived of a design that uses nearly 5,000 translucent stone glass panels, that create a deferential and distinctive white cube during the day that transforms and captivates its audience at night.

"The idea of a glowing, self-contained cube”, Ramus says, “seemed to honor the idea that rejuvenation could happen from within and radiate outward, and issue some kind of diffuse but powerful healing to the city."

Internally, the Center reveals itself as a highly considered and complex series of three flexible performance spaces; the 450-seat John E. Zuccotti Theater, the 250-seat Mike Nichols Theater, and the 99-seat Doris Duke Theater. Together, these three performance spaces and their possible combinations result in numerous possibilities for artists to explore, each paired with state-of-the-art production infrastructure and technology designed by Charcoalblue.

As the Project Manager DBI, in partnership with PAC NYC leadership, managed across all the project’s complexities to bring the building out of the ground and enable to project's success. DBI worked with PAC NYC to select and onboard Sciame Construction as the construction manager for the project and then built out the organization’s own in-house capital team to oversee and facilitate the above-grade construction with Sciame.

Projects like this happen through the passion of many individuals and strong collaboration. We want to thank everyone who was involved in making this a great success over the many years of its planning, design, and construction.