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Durham Performing Arts Center, DPAC was designed by Szostak Design, Inc., an award-winning architectural firm based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Hailed for its aesthetics, crisp acoustics, and excellent sightlines, DPAC is a skillful marriage of a dramatic, multi-level glass lobby and a dynamic, intimate performance space with backstage facilities designed to host the most demanding productions. While the house and support areas embed themselves within the urban context, the thinly drawn curtain walls of the public lobby reach out, framing significant views of downtown Durham through a carefully controlled pattern of clear and fritted insulating glass. Upward movement through the lobby is animated by two finely detailed staircases that wrap the building’s perimeter and enliven the visual activity of the façade. Sustainable features include the energy efficient curtain wall, oriented to minimize solar gain and optimize natural daylighting, as well as variable air volume ventilation fans, an underfloor, low-volume displacement air distribution system and enhanced insulation. Creating a welcoming, pedestrian-friendly civic environment and anchoring Durham’s sports and entertainment district, DPAC is the product of a community-supported public funding agreement, an effort led by the theater’s architect, Philip Szostak, FAIA, who served as co-developer, spokesperson and fund-raiser for the project.


2011 Social Economic Environmental Design, SEED Certification

2009 North Carolina American Institute of Architects, Honor Award

2009 The Golden Leaf Merit Award for Design Excellence in Community Properties

2009 Architectural Woodwork Institute, Award of Excellence

2009 Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women, Champion Award for Community Enhancement

2006 North Carolina American Institute of Architects, Merit Award for Unbuilt Projects

Arts Center Info

  • 919.680.2787
  • 919.688.3722
The American Tobacco District
123 Vivian Street
Durham, NC 27701

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