18 starchitects to compete for “once in a generation” Florida arts centre

The Bay Park Conservancy Conceptual Masterplan — Approved by the Sarasota City Commission in September 2018.

Originally published by Global Construction Review.

An 18-strong shortlist has been announced for the design of the Sarasota Performing Arts Centre in Florida.

The companies selected include Adjaye Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Foster + Partners, Gehry Partners, Henning Larsen, Renzo Piano, Safdie Architects, Saana, Shigeru Ban, Snøhetta, Steven Holl Architects, Studio Gang and Zaha Hadid Architects.

Six public meetings will now be held as part of the whittling-down process, which will end up with up to six finalists.

The centre is expected to cost between $270m and $300m. When complete, it will replace the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, which has been described as Sarasota’s “most vulnerable structure” – a reference to deterioration in the building’s concrete structure and electrical systems.

Cheryl Mendelson, Van Wezel Foundation’s chief executive, said: “With the submission of qualifications from these accomplished firms, we now continue the robust review process that moves us closer to the vision of Sarasota as an international destination for the arts. This isn’t just a building. Together, we are building a place for ideas, a place for the arts, a place for you.”

Marlon Brown, City of Sarasota manager, said: “As a once-in-a-generation project, these applicants represent the best of the best firms from around the world.”

The shortlist can be viewed here.

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