NCTC Lobby ReDesign

San Francisco, California

Desired Services
Interior Design & Brand Integration,Facilities Renovation

Project Description

Vision: Theatre is a community event and a way to build community.

History: Founded in 1981 by Artistic Director Ed Decker, New Conservatory Theatre Center (NCTC) began as a small grassroots arts organization dedicated to bringing theatre education to all San Francisco youth. NCTC has since grown to become the Bay Area's premier LGBT & Allied performing arts institution that remains committed to youth arts education while also offering a main stage season, touring productions and opportunities for artists.

Each year, NCTC serves more than 35,000 children, youth adults throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California, and Central Valley.

Facility: NCTC's facility is comprised of three theatres--our proscenium stage, the Decker Theatre (seats 130) and our two black box spaces--the Walker Theatre (seats 63) and Theatre Three (seats 45). Additionally, NCTC's performing arts complex houses rehearsal spaces, dressing rooms, costume and prop storage, a scenery shop and administrative offices. All three theatres are in continuous use--seven days a week--hosting a range of performances, classes, rehearsals and events.

Project Description: NCTC's lobby is the crux--architecturally and symbolically--of our organization. It acts as a storefront (box office and concessions), reception area, event space, and often, it is where our community of patrons, students and artists are first introduced to NCTC. The level of traffic, activities and impressions that materialize in this space beg for an aesthetic that is exciting, inviting and inclusive. And yet, our current palette is dated and flat. Exacerbating this circumstance is the fact that we recently underwent a marketing overhaul that outcome of which has produced a new NCTC brand that is clean, contemporary and cohesive. Thus while our online and print communications have embraced a new aesthetic, our facility is still stuck in its underwhelming past.

What's more the lobby layout is antithetical to its intended use of audience engagement and interaction--an oversized box office juts into usable space; the bar/concessions area is locked in a corner that often creates 'traffic jams'; and, the remaining area where patrons often lounge before performances lacks any pulse of excitement with its haphazard placement of tables and chairs, and vibe of vacuity. Under these conditions, our new branding efforts fall flat.

In this moment, NCTC is advancing rapidly. Our work is exceptional. Our team is forward thinking. And our community responds to and cherishes all that we do. For our ongoing viability and relevance, we must therefore address the egregious issue of our lobby.