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(E) 59E59 Theaters Open - Leo Modrcin Architect
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  03/26/2004 | Culture And Arts | Unrated
(E) 59E59 Theaters Open - Leo Modrcin Architect


Glass Theater Curtain in Manhattan, by Leo Modrcin

59 East 59th Street, Manhattan , New York

59E59 Theaters building, designed by Croatian-born and New York-based architect Leo Modrcin, has been recently completed on East 59th Street in Manhattan, between Park and Madison Avenues. The main theater opened on February 15th, 2004, with Isabella Rossellini and Richard Thomas starring in “The Stendhal Syndrome”, a new play by Terrence McNally. The complex has 3 performing spaces, including the main 199-seat theater that features a soaring triple height space and intimately proportioned relationship between the stage and the audience, as well as two other theaters with 99 and 50 seats respectively.

The building was envisioned by Elysabeth Kleinhans, the president and artistic director of the Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation. The project is the first significant built project by Modrcin’s office Ured Architecture and has transformed a non-descript commercial building into a preeminent performing arts facility in the heart of Midtown. Its street facade is a glazed curtain of metal and laminated wire glass that announces the theatrical events hidden inside. The audience members reach the theaters through the multileveled stairway and lobby behind the glass curtain, and thus themselves become animated performers seen from the 59th Street.

Leo Modrcin is the principal of Ured Architecture in New York, and is also present with his work in Croatia. A residential project designed by Modrcin in Kraljevica is scheduled for completion in 2004.

59E59 Theaters building’s innovative curtain wall facade was constructed byAval Architectural Metals Corporation. Vlado Val Blaskovic, the principal of the leading architectural metals firm in New York is a distinguished benefactor for Croatian causes in New York. Also of Croatian origins is Ivan Pollak, the principal of the consulting firm IP Group, responsible for the building systems.

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