Held every four years in Prague, Czech Republic since 1967, the Prague Quadrennial aims to present the most innovative projects, artists, and experts in the field of theatre and performance design, with over 40,000 visitors from all over the world.
The ArtsQuest Center at Steel Stacks and Lafayette College's Arts Plaza were selected for the National Exhibition within the Architecture Section, traditionally the main competitive section of the Prague Quadrennial. The National Exhibition, entitled NOW/NEXT, is organized by individual curators and presents work representing the most unique, specific, current trends of a country or region within different performance design disciplines. Sited in the restored ancient church of St Anne’s at the Prague Crossroads, NOW/NEXT will display work from 32 countries around the world. The Architecture Section also includes the work of Steven Holl, Diller Scofidio & Renfro, Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Mecanoo, and Snohetta.
In announcing the selection, Design Principal Joseph N. Biondo said, “The Prague Quadrennial brings together theater-makers from the world over to present and discuss new ideas in performance. We are terrifically honored that two of our projects, the ArtsQuest Center and Lafayette College’s Arts Plaza, were selected to represent the United States. It is an exciting opportunity for Spillman Farmer Architects to participate in this global dialogue about architecture, design, and performance practices.”
The ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks is a dynamic performing arts, media, and cultural center located on the landmark Bethlehem Steel site in eastern Pennsylvania. Images of the project can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/spillmanfarmer/sets/72157622797378727/with/5497205608/. Video of the building in performance is available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/spillmanfarmer/sets/72157622797378727/with/5497205608/. Arts Plaza at Lafayette College is a raw, open-air space for the arts. The space was envisioned as an outdoor black box that can host a wide array of planned and spontaneous artistic endeavors, including performance art, visual art exhibits, and small-group musical performances. The structure transforms the space and will serve as the heart of the Colleges’ new arts campus, which also includes a state-of-the-art film and performance theaters, a sound stage, and a high-tech media and teaching lab. The structure actually transforms an abandoned building as it responds to the built and natural environment of which it is part. Images of the project can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/spillmanfarmer/sets/72157622797378727/with/5497205608/. Video, including footage from a recent performance in the Arts Plaza can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/spillmanfarmer/sets/72157622797378727/with/5497205608/. the Prague Quadrennial 2011, the United States exhibit will return stateside for display at the 2012 USITT (the Association for Performing Arts & Professionals) Conference in Long Beach California, with future venues to be announced.