Höweler + Yoon Architecture, in collaboration with OFIS Arhitekti, has unveiled its design for a new building for The Circus Conservatory, which will house America’s first accredited degree program in the Circus Arts. Located in Portland, Maine, as the anchor tenant of a peninsula, the project aims to transform an undeveloped part of the city into a vibrant artistic center complete with public performance venues and recreational facilities.”
Inspired by the historic circus shape—a circle with a radial audience—the design proposal utilises a radial viewing strategy in order to similarly activate the educational community. Furthermore, in the design, acrobatics, performance, and classroom spaces are treated equally, the viewing relationship crucial to a circus and academic settings.
A continuous interactive loop that oscillates between training, group studying, socialising, and private practicing will hold media areas, libraries, a café, and circulatory flex areas between the training halls.
Public circulation is woven throughout the building, with patrons entering below the raised loop and into a large public auditorium.
A ‘formed underbelly’ acts as a dynamic outdoor theater and plaza in which the public and students can engage.