The client, Ecko Unlimited, commissioned Janson Goldstein to prepare a feasibility study to transform the historic Times Square Theater, the last remaining, undeveloped theater under the auspices of the New 42nd Street, a not-for-profit organization. The client wanted to transform this existing space into an urban youth “epicenter” for the Ecko fashion brands as well as for new services and offerings that would relate to the urban lifestyle.
Janson Goldstein began the study by documenting all historic interior details that could be saved and incorporated into the new design, conceived to infuse and meld the historic aspects of the building with new, modern architectural insertions. The pitched orchestra-level floor as well as the existing mezzanines were reworked to create viable retail floor plates. A grand, three-level atrium was created to facilitate circulation between the floors as well as interact with the existing historic proscenium. Historic ceiling details were maintained and integrated with a modern lighting concept.
The centerpiece of the design was a glass “marquee” that floated over 42nd Street. The marquee references the pre-existing, but subsequently demolished, theater marquees that lined 42nd Street. In this case, the marquee would be an occupied space hovering over the street, viewable from Times Square itself. In designing this dramatic architectural element, care was taken to incorporate the existing historic stone columns, which could not be touched. The interplay between the old and the new created a dynamic tension that reestablished the building’s prominence on the 42nd Street streetscape while creating a unique experience for the customer.