The 500-seat Steppenwolf Theatre includes a main stage with a full-height fly-loft and fully-trapped floor, a studio theater, rehearsal room, and offices. The design response integrated these elements into a single structure that provides separate easy circulation for actors, patrons, and technicians.
The street facade, with its broad-shouldered concrete colonnade and dark brick masonry, firmly places the building in its reclaimed industrial neighborhood. The auditorium interior continues the simple palette of materials. The curved balcony front and precisely positioned box seats frame the stage apron in steel and rough concrete, in contrast to the rich color and texture of the draperies and seats. The auditorium evokes the alley and side street vernacular buildings at the edges of Chicago’s notable architectural tradition.