Straz Center for the Performing Arts Master Plan

  • Client

    • David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts
  • Project Type

Design Achievement - Commanding a prominent site along the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Florida, the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts (formerly Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center) is the sixth largest performing arts center in the U.S. The Straz Center currently hosts over 600,000 patrons / 9,600 events, annually. Built in 1987 on an abandoned gravel lot in a city lacking cultural offerings, it is now home to Opera Tampa, the Patel Conservatory, six theaters/rehearsal halls, dining, and special event catering. Having worked with the Straz Center on previous studies and master planning efforts since 2006, DLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky's most recent master plan addresses the Center's desire to remain a state-of-the-art performance facility that keeps pace with the city’s far-reaching growth potential. Extending the city grid down to the river and the river’s alluvial edge up to the Straz Center, the master plan merges both public and patron amenities, bringing the unintended user into contact with the arts and reciprocally delivering the arts to the riverfront. 

Scope Summary - The Straz Center master plan developed a 20-year vision for the improvement and expansion of a site area of 10 acres and a building area of 240,000 SF, involving both interior and exterior enhancements. The plan established an appropriate site program to resolve key challenges: pedestrian and vehicular circulation (drop off, parking, bus staging); connection to river and downtown core; and, by redesigning the vehicular road system, creating and developing a new parcel on adjacent land to accommodate parking and mixed-use development. In order to reinforce the experience of the Straz Center as an arts campus, the plan recommended a series of interventions in new construction—lobby expansion, updated food and beverage services, a new event center, arrival plaza, and outdoor event terraces. It further leveraged the development of a new residential tower, the city’s Riverwalk (already extending both north and south of the site along the Hillsborough), and new Art Museum and Children’s Museum located within the larger riverfront park. DLR Group|WRL provided master planning, architecture, and urban design (in collaboration with Hargreaves Associates) services. 

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

Awards & Recognition

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  • Honorable Mention

    American Institute of Architects (AIA) Cleveland

Straz Center for the Performing Arts Master Plan

David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts