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Carolines on Broadway : Comedy Theater Restaurant and Bar : Manhattan, New York : 1993.

Located in Manhattan's Times Square Special Theater District, this 11,000 sq.ft. interior includes a comedy theater with seating for 300 persons and an 80 person restaurant and bar lounge.

Specifically designed for comedy performances, the installation is conceived as a large "living room" with audience and comedian in close proximity. The theater space can be spatially sub-divided to reinforce this proximity on "slow" nights without losing the sense of intimacy.

Entering from Broadway a grand stair leads down to the bar lounge. Along this processional route the main design narratives for the club are introduced, references to harlequins, pantomime and jokers form an atmosphere of neo-medievalism. This iconography is synthesized into different scales of pattern, form and materials throughout the rest of the project.

The bar/lounge was designed as a series of intimate areas for dining and drinking. Materials including velvets, tapestries, stained and colored woods, metals and terrazzo, reinforce the renaissance references. Custom designed "bar fly" stools, tables and lighting complete the overall integration of the theme.

Inside the comedy theater, the "living room" concept is immediately apparent with three large curved "couches" dividing the tiers, integrated fiber optic lighting highlights each couch. Each tier is additionally delineated with operable velvet drapes to provide for visual and acoustic privacy. Lighting is organized for the theatrical performances, with separate systems for architectural and supplemental systems for TV recording. The stage is modular with reconfigurable sections to suite various performances. All aspects of the club are handicapped accessible.

As a leader in the field of comedy production for both live performance and television. Carolines represents a significant commitment to design in an arena not renown for design excellence.

This project was a featured cover story in the February 1993 issue of Interior Design Magazine and the recipient of the following Awards :

1993    American Institute of Architects : New York State Design Awards.
1994    United States Institute of Theatre Technology : Merit Award.
1995    American Institute of Architects : National Honor Award for Interiors.




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