An Arizona vision for the arts

Barton Myers, a Westwood architect best known locally for designing the flexible, multipurpose Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, is once again creating buildings for the arts -- but this time in Arizona.

Barton Myers & Associates and Architekton of Tempe have announced a September groundbreaking for a new visual and performing arts center, the Tempe Center for the Arts.

The $63-million complex, slated for completion in spring 2006, is to include a 600-seat main theater, a 200-seat studio theater, a 3,500-square-foot gallery and a multipurpose room. The design also includes a 24-acre public park to be built and funded by the city of Tempe.

The arts center will be sheltered by an extensive concrete roof system intended to eliminate aircraft noise in the interior spaces.


Myers, who also designed the $180-million New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, has said that the Tempe complex was “inspired by the majestic rock forms of Monument Valley, the mysterious constructions of Chaco Canyon, and the dramatic colors and textures of native fabrics, pottery and jewelry.”

The design also incorporates artwork by artists Ned Kahn, Ramona Sakiestewa, Mayme Kratz and Mark Ryan.

-- Diane Haithman