The new 42nd street studios

New York, NY | 84,000 SF | 2000

This public project was commissioned by the not-for-profit arts organization, The New 42nd Street, Inc., and was a distinctive facet of the redevelopment of New York’s Times Square. PBDW was hired to bring the organization’s vision to life, building a space that would act as a hub for performing arts and culture.

Our team designed an 11-story building that houses spacious dance rehearsal studios, two reception halls, a black box theater, dressing rooms, and office facilities for dance and performing arts companies. In place of the conventional Times Square neon, we created a façade that is an abstract collage of color and light, which acts as signal for its use as a creative “factory” for the performing arts. Perforated metal blades and dichroic glass create pattern and color by day. At night, theatrical lights play over the façade in an infinitely variable sequence of colors.

Named one of the twenty most significant buildings in the city in "Architecture in Detail: New York," this project has received significant worldwide recognition. It has been exhibited at New York’s Urban Center as one of the city’s thirty most distinguished buildings built during the last thirty years. New York Magazine included it in “The New York Canon.”


  • AISC Innovative Design and Excellence in Architecture with Steel Award, 2003

  • AIA National Honor Award, 2002

  • AIA New York State Design Award, 2001

  • AIA New York Chapter Design Award, 2001

  • Illuminating Engineering Society of North America International Illumination Design Award, 2001

  • Illuminating Engineering Society of North America New York Section Lumen Award of Merit, 2001

  • Illuminating Engineering Society of North America Los Angeles Section Lumen West Award of Merit, 2001