The Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston, known as MATCH, opened its doors a couple of months ago. The building site is on Main street, the most important and recognized street in Houston, that starts at historic downtown running south towards the Museum District, Medical Center, Hermann Park and Rice University. Midtown got its name precisely because it's situated between these two distinct vibrant poles of the city.
Very simple in its concept, the building is organized around a "dog run" which is a roofed outdoor passage, very appropriate for Houston's hot and humid climate. The dog run is the social space, generally opened to the public, that glues together all other spaces like theater auditoriums, classrooms and gallery spaces. This intermediate space, where everything happens, it's also responsible of connecting MATCH to the city, with it's tall roof and perforated metal skin that meets the sidewalk under the presence of two beautiful majestic live-oak trees, making the entrance experience both inviting and memorable. It strategically lines up with a historic church front door that is right across Main Street as a virtual continuation of this church's nave, gesture that I found very respectful to its context.
As always, Lake Flato's design is impeccable, clean, strong and completely attuned with the environment climate. I feel honored to be asked to photograph their building and thankful for their contribution to my city.
Text by the architect:
The new $25 million Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH) is a new community arts complex that provides a centralized home base in Midtown for a broad spectrum of Houston’s leading and emerging arts and cultural organizations. The 59,000 square-foot facility consists of four dedicated theater spaces, two rehearsal spaces/classrooms, and several gallery spaces, along with back-of-house support and office space. A generous public breezeway acts as a lobby for these arts venues while serving as a gathering place. Currently open, the MATCH project has nearly completed all construction and is scheduled to be fully completed this fall.