Activated Surface Theater

Zhanina Boyadzhieva (website)
Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Design Studio
Faculty:  Vincent Bandy (website)


This semester-long project intends to revitalize Paul Rudolph’s Government Services Center in downtown Boston by connecting it with the surrounding urban fabric. The theater presents a blend between architecture and landscape. Following the change in topography, the Performing Arts Center emerges from the ground, attaching to the balconies of Government Services Center.

The design is a reaction against the Modernist principles of a building standing as an individual object in space. Instead, it revolves around the idea of an activated surface, which lifts, splits, pushes down, connects and fragments a flat plane leaving multiple inhabitable zones. Each zone is assigned a specific program or purpose, which would attract the community during different seasons. Activities include community gardens, sports platforms, outdoor performance areas, cafes, ice skating ring and viewing terraces.

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