LA MAMA EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE CLUB
New York, NY
CBB was appointed to the firm’s second lighting design project for New York City’s renowned off-off Broadway theater, La Mama.
Housed in a stand-alone building, this multi-purpose facility expands the theater’s community engagement. For the historic façade’s night imagery, lights installed at each windowsill reveal a captivating street presence after dark. The solution complies with NYC Landmarks’ strict requirements for concealed exterior lighting fixtures.
Subtle downlighting enhances the clean, open design of the entrance lobby, which draws visitors into the gallery beyond. The gallery serves as both a display space for local artists and a setting for receptions. A composition of randomly hung decorative pendants, supplemental downlights, and perimeter track lighting allows endless lighting combinations that can be customized for different uses of the space.
The heart of the center is “The Club,” a flexible theater on the second floor. Wall grazers with special glare shields highlight the brick walls and evoke the ambience of a downtown cabaret.
Simple yet elegant lighting overcomes design challenges that include exposed ceilings, a lack of recessing space as seen in the double-height multi-purpose studio on the third floor, the building’s landmark designation, and an extremely constrained budget. The lighting is a key element in a newly energized and engaging venue that supports the theatre group’s mission of embracing its community and empowering artists of every type.
Beyer Blinder Belle Architects
John Bartelstone Photography