As Theatre Memphis approached its 100 year anniversary, they partnered with Renaissance Group to renovate and improve their facility at 630 Perkins Ext. Renaissance set out to redesign the space to be classic, warm, while also modern, innovative and improving interior function in every aspect.
Setting the stage for the future of Theatre Memphis
Challenges & Resolutions
As Theatre Memphis’s productions have grown, there was an increased need to better accommodate large crowds, including improved accessibility and increased restroom capacity. The original lobby had several levels, so the new design established one level throughout the public spaces including additional restrooms with expanded and new restrooms in the original lower-level space.
Another main element Renaissance Group was challenged with was to create a dynamic facade that allowed Theatre Memphis to interact more with the surrounding community, as well as highlighting the 1979 metal theatre and literary character statues designed and created by Memphis artist Lon Anthony. The Lobby addition consisted of three major extrusions from the building that represent the literal connection pieces from the surrounding community and the existing Theatre. This created more street presence and allowed the Theatre to feel more inviting for all previous and future visitors. The large windows in the expanded lobby are a beacon to the outdoor sculpture garden and the adjacent grounds.
How The Renaissance Approach Benefited the Client
Renaissance Group’s close attention to detail and delivering on client goals allowed the design of the Theatre to come to life. Walking up to the Theatre, the pathways are lined with the names of those who have graciously donated customized stone pavers. Community and visitors are then greeted by the unique and handsome theatre and literary character statues. Next, guests walk into a spacious public lobby space featuring wood columns and accent walls, a grand carpeted staircase with custom designed railing and commissioned chandeliers created by Memphis artist Wayne Edge. Along with the custom chandeliers and iron railings, stone and wood columns provide a unique and inviting environment both inside and out. Connecting back to the past, one of the two bars inside was designed from the original wood from the 1975 lobby walls.
Other work includes additional space for set construction and storage, along with the renovation of all offices, rehearsal, and performance spaces.
The functionality and beauty of the Theatre Memphis facility is now matched by the outstanding quality of excellence that TM presents. Through their productions, outreach, and education programs, Theatre Memphis continues to be a cultural treasure for Memphis, TN for the last 100 years and into the future.