The Vanguard

Images / Description

The Vanguard, a cutting-edge performing arts venue located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, was originally built in 1937 to serve as a church.

The brick-and-block building was occupied by Frantasy Designs prior to its renovations. Today, it is a 99-seat black box performance space and home to the Thinking Cap Theatre, an award-winning, experimental theatre company. 

Glavovic Studio designed a façade that wraps the existing building in a ‘skin,’ creating an image commensurate with the theatre’s mission, transforming it into a new, creative venue. The renovation concepts explore tectonics of lightness and porosity, with a veil of perforated metal mesh panels that wrap the building.

The modified marquee entry façade of the church is amplified, serving as an expressive landmark on the corner of 15th Street and The Vanguard Entrance, evolving from a rectangle to a trapezoid, making the building more readable to moving vehicles and providing the pedestrian a more intimate experience with the materiality of the architecture of the Theater.  The closer proximity is an opportunity to see through into the shaded enclosed courtyard where the perforated metal panel holes enlarge providing more connectivity along the sidewalk to reveal the inner structure of the skin and existing building masonry envelope and buttresses.   

The lit and shaded triangulated perforated metal mesh structure creates altered volumetric spaces that are part performance, part signifier and part light beacon for The Vanguard and the City day and night. 

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