Founded in 1991 as a non-profit dance company with a mission to influence movement, creativity, and performance into effecting social change and personal transformation, Gibney Dance strives to create and perform engaging work in a cooperative community. Originally based at 890 Broadway in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, the company recently signed a 20-year lease for additional space at 280 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, the former home of Dance New Amsterdam, in an effort to save invaluable space for the city’s dance community. While both venues will continue to provide affordable studio rentals to dance companies, Broadway productions, and performing artists, the 36,000-square-foot 280 Broadway will focus on training emerging dancers and feature a digital media center, a state-of-the-art performance lab, and a black box theater.
Poulin + Morris worked closely with Gibney Dance in developing a comprehensive environmental graphics and donor recognition program for their new downtown facility. Taking Gibney’s existing logotype of two horizontal bands set at dramatic angles that reference modern dance movements, the designers expanded upon the concept of motion for the new program. Using materials culled from the building’s interior architectural palette, sign panels composed in stainless steel, painted aluminum, and cast resin mirror the varied angles found in the Gibney Dance logotype. To identify the new space, as well as acknowledge its major benefactor—Gibney Dance and the Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center are realized in three-dimensional typography and horizontal bands placed at opposing angles and located above the main reception desks. The donor recognition wall, located on the second floor of the Center, also features a series of smaller horizontal bands organized at various angles which display donor names in 5 neutral shades of grey to differentiate the donor levels. Applied to white cast resin panels that are the same white as their backdrop wall, the names appear to jump off the wall in another visual play on motion and movement.
Large-scale graphic treatments also provide identification and branding on the Center’s exterior glass storefront, as well as privacy for rehearsal studios and offices. These visual treatments, composed in translucent white vinyl, feature varying levels of transparency and clear cutouts for visibility into each interior space.
The designers’ continuous use of dimension and bas-relief sculptural effects creates a strong metaphor for movement throughout the program and captures the vitality of the Gibney Dance mission.
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Gibney Dance/Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center
New York, New York
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