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8,100 Tons

Fri, Dec 3, 12pm - Tue, Dec 21, 2021 6pm

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The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center

This exhibition, located in the Third Floor Hallway Gallery, features two works designed by the architecture firm REX currently under construction: The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center in New York, and The Brown University Performing Arts Center in Rhode Island. School of Architecture Associate Professor Joshua Ramus is the firm’s founder and principal and Associate Professor Alysen Hiller Fiore is a director at REX. She is currently leading the Perelman Performing Arts Center project.

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center includes three auditoria (499-, 250-, and 99-person) which can extend or combine to form ten different proportions and twenty-two preset stage-audience layouts. The structure sits atop four below-grade levels that include train tracks of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and subway tracks of the New York City MTA. Borne by seven “super-columns,” the building is strategically located to not disrupt these existing below-grade components.

The Brown University Performing Arts Center includes a main hall with five radically different preset spatial, acoustic, and technical configurations; three smaller performance/rehearsal spaces for music, dance, and theater; practice rooms; and typical front- and back-of-house spaces. The structure is effectively a bridge borne by two steel-framed cores located on the project’s east and west sides, holding aloft massive belt trusses along the north and south elevations.

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The Brown University Performing Arts Center

Joshua Ramus is the founding principal of REX, whose mission is to challenge and advance building paradigms and promote the agency of architecture. In addition to the two projects on display, Ramus is currently working on two mixed-use towers in Australia; the Necklace Residence on Long Island; and a virtual museum and performing arts space for Metapurse, which will “house” Beeple’s infamous NFT The first 5000 Days. Joshua’s belief that architecture should do things for its users and communities, and not simply be a representational art, was first applied to his design of the Seattle Central Library, which he led as a founding partner of OMA New York.

Joshua has been honored with the Action Maverick Award from the experimental performance company STREB and was the first American recipient of the international Marcus Prize. He has also been credited as one of: the “5 greatest architects under 50” by The Huffington Post; the world’s most influential young architects by Wallpaper*; the twenty most influential players in design by Fast Company; “The 20 Essential Young Architects” by ICON magazine; and the “Best and Brightest” by Esquire. His projects consistently receive the profession’s top awards and accolades. 

Alysen Hiller Fiore has previously performed as Project Leader on the Necklace Residence in Long Island; the Transformation of Five Manhattan West in New York; and the Wakefield School Performing Arts Center in Virginia. Before joining REX, Alysen worked for several world-renowned architectural firms on a wide range of architectural projects. At BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) in Copenhagen, Denmark, she worked on the House of Culture & Movement in Fredricksberg, Denmark, and TEK, a mixed-use proposal which includes retail, hotel, and exhibition space in Taipei, Taiwan. While with Zago Architecture, she worked on the proposed development of a multi-unit social housing complex as part of  Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream, a MoMA commissioned project to explore new architectural possibilities for cities and suburbs in the aftermath of the 2008 foreclosure crisis.

Alysen holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Art & Design with honors, both from the University of Iowa.

Rethinking Flexibility, an in-person lecture by Joshua Ramus, took place on November 18th, 2021. You may watch the video here

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