Venue to Represent First LEED Platinum Purpose-Built Theater in the Country
GARRISON, NY (September 2, 2022) –– The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (HVSF) today revealed images of the new open-air theater design for its permanent home in Garrison, NY. The design concept has been submitted to the Philipstown Planning Board as part of the launch of the next phase of its environmental review process. As an alternative to the Festival’s existing white fabric tent, the new design consists of an open-air theater constructed using a palette of natural materials with the textures and muted colors of stone, slate and wood. Designed with sensitivity to the preservation of the area’s scenic views, the proposed structure presents a thin ground-hugging profile and uses a floating timber framed roof whose shallow horizontal curves echo the ridge lines behind and around it.
HVSF’s new home would be the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum purpose-built theater in the country. Solar panels, rainwater capture, reduced embedded carbon and other design elements are designed to minimize climate impacts and better protect the theater from extreme weather and wear. The theater would sit in the midst of year-round vegetative screening and meadows ecologically restored from their long-time prior use as a golf course. The platinum designation is the highest level of LEED certification and shows HVSF’s strong commitment to sustainability.
In the filings made with the Planning Board, HVSF also proposed eliminating the new entrance to Snake Hill Road and bridge that would have been required as a consequence of the new entrance. The Festival’s experience performing on the site this summer confirmed that the existing entrance on Snake Hill Road was sufficient and safe operating on a one-way only basis. “The bridge would have been a major expense for the Festival, and we are greatly relieved that it appears to be unnecessary,” said Davis McCallum, artistic director of HVSF.
“Our audiences this summer loved our new home,” said McCallum. “We operated without any of the impacts or problems that some had feared. And now, with our new theater design, our project more fully reflects the unique character of this extraordinary place and extends the deep tradition of environmentalism in the Hudson Highlands. Philipstown has been our home for over three decades, and we are grateful for the broad and strong support of the community as we advance to the next stage of the SEQRA review process.”