This performing arts center is constructed on a site adjacent to a large convention hall that was already occupied by an auditorium building, an arena, and a police station. Requested additions included a theater, a concert hall, and a garage. In order to recognize the nature of the site and the presence of the existing buildings, the master plan retains the street grid as the organizing factor. The objective was to knit the whole complex of buildings together and, at the same time, create a retail and people-oriented space to encourage daytime activity, which is so often lacking in many other performing arts centers.
The street intersection is covered with a barrel-vaulted glass roof, creating a galleria lined with shops, restaurants, and street theater activity. It provides access and the front entrance to all of the performing arts buildings.
The theater building consists of a 740-seat hall, a 630-seat experimental theater, a 180-seat performance area and a 260-seat cinema. It is designed as a series of processionals that form the approaches to the various theaters, most notably the central projecting stage theater which has a curving-glass walkway that sweeps around to the west exposing a magnificent view of the Rockies.
The three central sections of the house are on elevators and can be rearranged. Also, the lower section of the house can be removed so that the stage size can be varied from a small, intimate proscenium stage to a very large, arena-like flat floor playing area. The entry section of the building is designed as an all-glass-enclosed space, to avoid the sense of shuttered buildings.
Subsequent construction in 1998 added a large ballroom over the top of one of the theaters. The Seawall Ballroom offers views of the Rockies and city lights and features state-of-the-art audio, visual, and lighting capabilities.