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May 5, 2023
Following a series of unfortunate delays, project architect LMN recently shared that the new Field Arts & Events Hall at the Port Angeles Waterfront is on schedule to be completed and opened to the public in July.
The project is located at 201 W. Front St. and is part of a larger effort to revitalize the city's waterfront area spearheaded by the non-profit Port Angeles Waterfront Center, which is the developer of the hall.
When it does open, the two-story 40,000-square-foot building will be an architecturally striking venue, resource, and gathering space for the arts and arts community in and around Port Angeles. The building will support numerous local community arts organizations while aspiring to enhance the broader creative and cultural community.
The hall's centerpiece is a multi-purpose 500-seat auditorium designed to accommodate orchestral music, dance, dramatic theater and amplified music events and festivals.
Additional spaces include a large meeting area/conference center with 300 seat banquet capacity, three breakout spaces, and a founders room. There will also be a fine art gallery, retail space (including a coffee shop), dressing rooms, green room/music room, and administrative offices.
General contractor Mortenson broke ground on the project in October 2019. Work was temporarily halted in March 2020 (for around six weeks) at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project was put on hold again in February 2021, due to funding issues, with work not resuming until last summer. At the time of the last construction hold Mortenson had topped out the building and completed work on its shell and core with only internal work left to do.
The hall has cost $50 million to design and build. The majority of funding has come from donations.
LMN, which started working on the project in 2016, also shared some details about the hall's design. The architect says the intimate, multipurpose auditorium has been designed with a level of flexibility that optimizes a wide range of artistic performances reflective of local and regional arts groups. The conference center is located on the second level to offer sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains and Strait of Juan de Fuca. Visitors arrive at a street level urban entry and progress up a feature stair to be met with the panoramic views.
“Port Angeles' history and ecosystem is celebrated in the aesthetics of the building, giving users a chance to engage with the town's unique culture and geography while the spectacular natural environment is captured within the architectural gestures of the building,” LMN shared. Port Angeles' timber history is represented through the use of wood and natural materials throughout the building. A curtain wall constructed of regionally sourced timber mullions offers 270-degree wrap-around views in the multi-level lobby and conference space. The wooden lobby ceiling gives warmth to the public spaces with integrated lighting that mimics sunlight reflecting off the water.
“Positioned in a unique location in Port Angeles where you can experience the water and the mountains, the Field Arts & Events Hall is designed to be reflective of its surroundings. Regional wood materials are utilized throughout the building, and glass has been strategically integrated in the design to open the building to the community and the nature around the site. As we continue to experience the building taking shape, it is exciting to envision how the project reaffirms the important role of community, art, music, and theater in Port Angeles,” Cameron Irwin, principal at LMN, said.
A grand opening event is scheduled for July 27- 30.
Port Angeles Waterfront Center also plans to develop two additional building's dedicated to culture and science at the waterfront. Those are a marine discovery center and a cultural center for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.
The project team for the events hall also includes Stantec, mechanical engineer; Swenson Say Faget, structural engineer; Walker Macy, landscape architect; Zenovic & Associates, civil engineer; Krazan, geotechnical engineering; Vanir Construction Management, owner's representative; Jaffe Holden, acoustics; and The Shalleck Collaborative, theater and AV consultant. Local subcontractors include Olympic Electric, Stirrett Johnsen, Jamestown Excavation, and Angeles Concrete Products.
Emma Hinchliffe can be reached by email or by phone at (206) 622-8272.