Idea Center at Playhouse Square

  • Client

    • Playhouse Square
  • Project Type

  • Awards & Recognition
  • LEED Certified Silver
  • Opened/Completed

    • 2005
  • Area

    • 104,706 ft²
  • Cost

    • $25,123,533

Design Achievement - In a partnership that was the first of its kind in the nation, WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN ideastream (affiliates of National Public Radio and Public Television) and the Playhouse Square Foundation joined forces to co-locate within a single facility integrating broadcast media, performing arts, and education programs. The project involved the adaptive re-use of a National Register Landmark building that is part of Playhouse Square, the nation’s largest renovated historic district and an institution with which DLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky has worked for more than 35 years. DLR Group|WRL’s architectural concept for the new facility inserts a contemporary and highly flexible design into the existing historic building. The new facility physically embodies the partnership of its broadcast media, performing arts, and education tenants. It captures the efficiencies of shared resources, spaces and technology, resulting in reduced construction and operating costs. Idea Center exposes its programmatic components allowing multi-level activities and movement to be readily visible at street level. The design fosters connectivity and interaction, and leverages a highly visible, street-front location on the main corridor of the city’s commercial, retail, and entertainment district to bring a new, dynamic vitality to Cleveland’s urban core.

Scope Summary - Originally constructed in 1912, the seven-story structure totals 246,000 GSF. The project scope included the adaptive reuse of the building’s first two floors and lower level. Approximately 47,000 SF of the project's 90,000 SF is used for public service, educational programming, and performances. An extensive feasibility and planning process by DLR Group|WRL demonstrated the economies of sharing commonly programmed spaces and reduced the project size by 30,000 SF, resulting in significant cost savings. The facility includes radio and television broadcast facilities, a dance studio, and the 300-seat Studio Theater, a highly flexible black box with state-of-the-art performance and television broadcast capabilities. The facility’s lower level features work areas, classrooms, distance learning suites, and large, open activity rooms. Technology integrated throughout the spaces supports multimedia production and the ability to live stream. Engineering systems meet high-performance demands of sophisticated communication and technology uses, while also complying with LEED standards and withstanding stringent value engineering evaluations for optimal payback. The project achieved LEED CI Silver certification and was honored with a sustainability award from the International Downtown Association. DLR Group|WRL provided feasibility analysis, programming/planning, architecture, interior design, MEP and structural engineering, LEED/sustainable design, theater technical, historic preservation, and historic/lost development rights tax credit consultation.

DLR Group acquired Westlake Reed Leskosky in September 2016. Today, the combined design expertise and resources of Westlake Reed Leskosky and DLR Group serve clients as a global, integrated design firm committed to elevating the human experience through design

Awards & Recognition

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  • Merit Award for Renovation

    American Institute of Architects (AIA) Cleveland
  • IDA Award, Sustainable Development Category

    International Downtown Association (IDA)
  • Systems of the Year for Electrical and Communications

    Consulting-Specifying Engineer, ARC Engineering Award
  • Green City Blue lake Award

    Eco City Cleveland
  • 23rd Annual Reconstruction & Renovation Awards - Gold Award

    Building Design & Construction
  • Commercial Revitalization Award

    Cleveland Restoration Society

Idea Center at Playhouse Square

Playhouse Square