Performing Arts Center sponsored by Oprah Wins multiple awards

May 19, 2017

Oprah makes dreams come true. The Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn is yet another example of this. The centre sponsored by Oprah won multiple design awards. It was recognised at the AIA New York as well as the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Building Brooklyn Award.

 

the reception

 

The passageway is announced by a suspended shade, through glass entryways flanked by 3D etched concrete panels. The colourful library provides a social spot for comfortable gatherings. The conceptual vocabulary of undulating vitality and movement is felt in the space with its largely white walls and selective colourful elements in furniture. The stairwell and second-floor gathering are clad in dimensional CNC-processed lacquered boards that cover lighting and storage spaces.  Cast ripple and spiral panels retain the vitality in the centre.

 

The insides

 

Its outstanding contribution to Brooklyn's streetscape and the local economy is visible in its efforts to empower youth. The Bedford-Stuyvesant is the same where Dwana grew up and it is her way of contributing back to the society. She wants to help the community kids escape the rise of the gang culture in the area by focussing their creative energies in dancing.

 

The centre

 

Designed by Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture, they developed a series of figure studies using photography and dance notation to inspire a direct abstraction of movement and the flow of architectural space.

 

the dance niche

 

Smallwood spent almost four years at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa training the young girls in the programs. Dancing is her oxygen and she is living her dream while giving young girls new dreams. The centre is a springboard for creating community identity and encouraging creative activity within an underserved population.

 

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