Planning/Urban Design   /   Gerry Foundation, Inc.

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Master Plan

Bethel, New York    map
Status: Complete

Westlake Reed Leskosky addressed the significant complexities of operational planning for a cultural and performing arts center of this significance. Drawing large numbers of patrons to outdoor performances and events, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is designed to handle visitor flow and the movement of 17,000 to 30,000 people at a given time.

Design was just a part of the development of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. First the firm needed to study market, economic, and operational models in order to plan and organize the center. A significant effort was devoted to coordinating complex issues such as the analysis of crowd behavior and the flow of large crowds, sight lines, and the requirements that the entire campus be accessible.

The master plan developed by the firm accounts for visitor orientation, circulation, movement and flow of large and small assemblies, and seasonal usage. Programming involves parking, arrival and drop-off sequences, service, access to backstage, VIP and general admissions, main gate and box office, concessions, amenities, and administrative space, and the path system and gathering areas through the site. Planning also concentrates on the center as a world-class destination, considering issues such as duration of visitor experience, appreciation of nature, food service, wayfinding, separation of patron services and experiences, simultaneous events at different venues and multivalent experiences involving a numberof venues. Pavilion support programming enhances the artists' experience in order to create a preferred performing arts venue, including outdoor terraces, lounge and dining areas, dressing and backstage areas for artists separate from technical and administrative areas.