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Metro Stage

Adaptive Reuse

Maginniss + del Ninno Architects was commissioned to renovate a 35-year-old metal-clad industrial building – originally constructed as a lumber warehouse – for use by a not-for-profit professional theater company. The adaptive reuse of the 4,000 square foot building divides the large interior into two spaces; a performing space and a triangular lobby with a mezzanine level office.

The performing space and interior lobby expand the full height of the structure. To create an intimate relationship with the audience, seats are on risers that wrap around a thrust-style stage. The theatrical lighting and sound equipment, together with the stage and backstage areas are designed to provide maximum flexibility for the designers working with each production.

The interior lobby accesses the performing space, box office, concession counter, and public restrooms. A floating staircase opens to the lobby and visible through the glass entrance leads to a narrow balcony and office mezzanine. A gallery extends from the lobby along the front of the theater to provide access to coat storage and a side entrance to be used as a stage door.

Due to exterior noise from Reagan National Airport, the interior of the performing area was digitally modeled to determine the optimal wall and ceiling construction. Green building design incorporates recycled and used materials.


Alexandria, VA, USA


4,000 sqft.

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