Following the passing of Frank Lloyd Wright in 1959, a series of innovative theaters were constructed using the designs of Wright’s atelier, Taliesin Associates. San Jose’s Center for the Performing Arts (CPA) followed Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium in Tempe, Arizona (1964) and Veterans Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael, California (1971). All structures are characterized by the liberal use of organic shapes.
At first glance, San Jose’s Center for the Performing Arts is a celebration of the circular form, from the design of the building itself to its detailing and landscaping. Both exterior and interior spaces feature spiral ramps, decorative arches and spheres. The original theater design called for a retractable ceiling which was not built as planned, due to problems with its construction.
The Center for the Performing Arts is the only building in the South Bay area with a direct lineage to Frank Lloyd Wright, considered by many to be the most influential American architect of his time. The building also has a relationship to the Guggenheim in New York, another project that architect Wesley Peters played a key role in.
An Architectural Guidebook to San Francisco and the Bay Area, Susan Dinkelspiel Cerny, Gibbs Smith, 2007
WRIGHT CHAT http://www.savewright.org/wright_chat/viewtopic.php?p=19345
Postcard image, Photographer: Ken Tay
Detail, Photographer: Heather David
Interior View, Photographer: Heather David