SITE PLANNING

  • Activate the bayfront and connect it more closely with the water, the City of Sarasota, and Long Boat Key.
  • Figure out what to do with the iconic Van Wezel, which is too small to attract larger acts.

THE OPTIONS

Given these program requirements, but mindful of the architectural importance of the iconic Van Wezel, CityLab Sarasota developed 3 possible site planning options for the Bayfront Cultural Center:

RETAIN VAN WEZEL

SUMMARY

Incorporate a marina village into the cultural centerThe cultural transparency (PDF) site concept tackles the site plan challenges of keeping the Van Wezel, while adding two new performance halls and parking. Waterway integration was achieved by expanding the existing estuary into a marina and creating a ferry landing.

PROGRAM

  • retain 1,743 seat Van Wezel performing arts hall
  • add new 2,600 seat performing arts center
  • add new 1,800 seat symphony hall
  • add parking structures for new buildings
  • add ferry to City Island on Long Boat Key

REPURPOSE VAN WEZEL

CONCEPT

The “Sense-ation” master plan (PDF) centers on the fact that the beauty of the arts and nature are experienced via the senses.

Boards - master planWhile the Van Wezel's iconic skin is retained as an outdoor amphitheater, the site plan includes new performing and symphony halls, an aquarium, and a bridge to Long Boat Key.

PROGRAM

  • new 2,600 seat performing arts center
  • new 1,800 seat symphony hall
  • repurposed 1,700 seat outdoor amphitheater
  • new aquarium in Centennial Park
  • new bridge to City Island in Long Boat Key

REPLACE VAN WEZEL

SUMMARY

In this plan, the Van Wezel would be removed in favor of a larger multi-purpose performance hall, and a new symphony hall would be added.

The Van Wezel's shell concept inspired this master planThis shell-based master plan (PDF) pays homage to the waterfront location and nods to the Van Wezel's iconic shape by using a shell metaphor to inform the site plan for the 42-acre plot.

PROGRAM

  • new 2,600 seat performing arts center
  • new 1,800 seat symphony hall
  • new aquarium in Centennial Park
  • parking structures below the new buildings