All News

Celebrating Charcoalblue's Project Openings for 2023


2023 has been a landmark year for Charcoalblue, marked by the unveiling of several innovative and inspiring projects across the globe. Each project reflects our commitment to design innovation and functional excellence. Let's take a moment to celebrate some of these incredible openings, highlighting their significance in the landscape of modern architecture and cultural spaces.

Photo by Iwan Baan

PAC NYC: A New York Icon Reimagined

Opened in September 2023, The Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC) is a multi-format venue that has been lauded for its flexible design, allowing for over 60 possible stage configurations. Designed as a "mystery box" by REX Architects with Charcoalblue, the PAC NYC features three distinct theaters, each acoustically shielded from the others, ensuring a diverse range of performances can occur simultaneously without interference. The design, emphasizing precision and warmth, fosters a profound connection between the audience and performers, making it what New York Times architecture critic called, a "spectacular work of public architecture." The final public element in the revitalization of the World Trade Center site, PAC NYC is a symbol of the resilience of New York City and its people.

Photograph by David Levene

Aviva Studios: Manchester's Creative Powerhouse

Aviva Studios in Manchester, opened in October 2023, is a groundbreaking new theatre typology: an arts warehouse. This venue, designed in collaboration with architects OMA, features two key spaces: the Hall, a versatile 1,600-seat theater, and the Warehouse, a 5,000-standing capacity space for festivals. The innovative moveable seating system and ultra-flexible performance technical systems are designed to provide unconstrained artistic and technical freedom, balancing the epic and the intimate while promoting connectivity between audiences and performers. Aviva Studios marks a significant step in Manchester's cultural evolution, offering a space that embodies the city's commitment to becoming a leading hub for arts and creativity.

Photograph by Peter Foster

Geelong Arts Centre: A Cultural Beacon in Australia

The Geelong Arts Centre, Australia’s largest regional performing arts center, opened in August 2023. Working with ARM Architecture, Charcoalblue provided comprehensive auditorium design and technical design for all performing spaces. The Story House Theatre, an elliptically designed room, offers a multi-format space seating up to 850 for live music, balancing intimacy with technical excellence. The Open House, a flexible-format warehouse space, represents innovation in regional theatre, pushing the boundaries of what theatre spaces can be. The Geelong Arts Centre's opening is a historic moment in Australian arts history, representing a significant investment in cultural infrastructure outside major metropolitan areas.

Getty Images

Charcoalblue Experience: A Global Tapestry of Innovation

Throughout the year, Charcoalblue Experience (CBX) has delivered a diverse array of experiential venues, collaboration spaces, event studios, and innovative visitor centers that span continents—from Europe and America to the vibrant landscapes of India and beyond.

Serving as Google's esteemed advisor, our team has spearheaded the creation of cutting-edge, technologically sophisticated collaboration spaces integrated seamlessly into their expansive global real estate portfolio.

As we ended the year, we take immense pride in our contribution to the successful realization of the extraordinary MSG Sphere in Las Vegas. Our team's experience with project delivery in live entertainment enabled us to steer the impressive audio playback system to be delivered on time for the inaugural U2 concert. This monumental achievement is poised to establish a groundbreaking standard of entertainment venue design, setting a new benchmark for awe-inspiring experiences.

This is an indoor gymnasium with a high ceiling and wooden walls. There are gymnastics mats and equipment scattered around the room. A young person stands on a textured spherical object, holding a flower and being observed by an instructor. In the background, two individuals are conversing next to a laptop on a tripod.

Photography by Fred Howarth

Roundhouse Works: London's Creative Nexus

Roundhouse Works in London, opened in the summer of 2023, is a new center for developing young talent. The project, under the leadership of Roundhouse and architects Paddy Dillon and Reed/Watts, features state-of-the-art studios for rehearsal, recording, and live broadcast. Appointed as the building-wide acoustic designers, we advised on sound separation, room acoustics and noise control for the various spaces within the Roundhouse Campus project. Sited on the existing service yard of the Roundhouse building, in a very busy commercial and residential area, the building is designed to a high acoustic specification that will allow both minimum distraction from environmental noise and a negligible noise impact to the neighboring noise-sensitive areas.

Pier 57

Celebrating Our Other Project Openings

In addition to these highlighted projects, Charcoalblue has been instrumental in the opening of numerous other venues, each with its unique design innovations, including the Bristol Beacon, National Archives Education Space in London, Paisley Town Hall in Scotland, Papa Hou & The Kind Foundation in New Zealand, Ramova Theatre in Chicago, La Mama Experimental Theatre in New York, The Mountainview Visitor Center in California, and the Pier 57 Community and Education name a few!

Each of these projects embodies Charcoalblue's dedication to innovative design and our commitment to creating spaces that not only meet but exceed the expectations of our clients and their audiences. As we move forward, we continue to be driven by our passion for design excellence and our desire to create spaces that inspire, engage, and bring people together. Here's to a future filled with more groundbreaking projects and innovative design solutions!

Supporting the industry internationally since 2004

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise: International Trade 2020 UK Theatre Tonic Theatre Communications Group Carbon Literate Orginisation - Silver
John Owens is a Charcoalblue Partner responsible for our North American practice.

Got a question?

Contact John