Guthrie Theater

Photo Credit: Richard Hackman (FDA)

The original home of this important regional company was built in the early 1960’s and the Guthrie has been struggling with major space deficiencies ever since. With its badly aging 35-year old home no longer sufficient for either its present programs or new ones, the Guthrie embarked on a plan for a new three-theatre complex.

In addition to bringing all of its operations under one roof, the Guthrie’s goal was to expand its mission while retaining the legacy of one of the most unique thrust theatres in the world. Consequently, the new project includes a near replica of the original 1100-seat thrust theatre. FDA retained the asymmetry of that room, including the unique steep slope of seats on House Right. The additional spaces include a 700-seat proscenium theater and a flexible 200-seat ‘studio’ theatre, along with the requisite support spaces, shops, rehearsal, and administrative spaces.

FDA worked closely with Artistic Director Joe Dowling to develop a highly detailed building program, which went through several iterations as needs and aspirations were balanced against resources. The three unique stages allow Artistic Director Joe Dowling multiple venues for a wide range of production formats, from the classical work for which the Guthrie is best known to experimental theatre and new plays.

  • Client: Guthrie Theater
  • Architect: Atelier Jean Nouvel
  • Arch. of Record: Architectural Alliance
  • Completion Year: 2006
  • Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Acoustician: The Talaske Group
  • Capacity: 2,000 seats


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