Perelman Performing Arts Center Nears Completion

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center. Courtesy of NewYorkYIMBY/Photo by Michael Young

As the Metals in Construction newsletter reported last summer, work at the Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center is continuing apace in time for the venue’s planned 2023 opening. Work planned for the first quarter of this year includes commissioning of the center’s three theaters, and testing the broad range of configurations which are the hallmark of the building’s theatrical innovation and flexibility. Prior to the first public events, there will also be a soft opening phase to test building operations and audience experience.

Until that time, the building’s facade will be the element that most captures public attention as construction continues within. Last fall, the project’s construction manager, Sciame, shared a video of the unique unitized stone and glass facade that wraps the entire cube-shaped volume. The 138-foot-high building is clad entirely in translucent Portuguese marble, illuminated from within at night. Starting vertically from the center, panels with darker coloring were installed first, followed by those with lighter veining to create a fading effect toward each corner of the building.

Permasteelisa and Gartner were responsible for design, along with the project’s architect REX and executive architect Davis Brody Bond, as well as engineering, and manufacturing of the 646,584-square-foot facade. Installation was performed by Local 580 tradespeople from Permasteelisa’s regional affiliate Tower Installation.

A view of the facade from inside in October 2021.

As Permasteelisa reports on its web site, marble blocks quarried in Portugal were first cut into 12mm thick slices and sealed with resin. After drying, the stone was laminated with an EVA film and assembled to form an insulating glass unit approximately 50mm thick. Each stone piece was photographed and numbered to allow architects to determine the panels’ final placement on the facade prior to installation. The facade substructure was erected with 75-foot-long steel trusses and custom connectors to trusses that span the entire building height.

With a glow already visible to passersby at night, the building promises to be another shining civic asset and one of the final pieces of architecture at the World Trade Center site.