Sited on The Walk in a locus of Brown arts venues, the Brown PAC is the physical manifestation of the Brown Arts Initiative, which was established in 2017 to support and incubate traditional and experimental art and media.
BAI’s manifold users require a space with radical spatial, acoustic, and technical flexibility—transforming amongst Experimental Media, Recital, End Stage, and Flat Floor configurations—while maintaining intimacy—typically 350 audience members or smaller. However, Brown also lacks a dedicated performance space suitable for its existing medium and large ensembles. Brown PAC must meet these needs as well, including an Orchestra configuration for joint performances by Brown’s 100-piece symphony orchestra and 80-singer chorus, with audiences up to 625.
To house these five varied stage-audience configurations within a single space, Brown PAC invents a new arts typology where all six surfaces of its shoebox-shaped main hall modulate physically and acoustically through automated and manually assisted performance equipment. These include: (walls) five seating gantries and a perimeter ring of retractable acoustic curtains; (ceiling) forty adjustable acoustic reflector panels, seven motorized utility battens, and three lighting bridges; and (floor) two stage lifts, three seating wagon lifts, and numerous stage risers and seating wagons.
In addition to the main hall, the building contains three additional venues, including: a dance rehearsal room, doubling as a 110-seat informal dance performance space; a theater rehearsal, doubling as a 50-seat small performance space; and an orchestra rehearsal room, doubling as a 165-seat performance space for smaller ensembles. Embodying Brown’s commitment to infusing the arts into all intellectual pursuits, a ‘Clearstory’ slices through the entire building at stage level, allowing—when desired—performances, rehearsals, and research to spill out onto campus, and for the university at large to vicariously engage the constant creation of art.