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Carolines Bar Fly stools
Bar with Barfly Stools

Carolines on Broadway
: Comedy Theater Restaurant and Bar : Manhattan, New York : 1993-2023

Located in Manhattan's Times Square Special Theater District, this 11,000-square-foot interior includes a comedy theater with seating for 300 people and an 80-person restaurant and bar lounge.

Specifically designed for comedy performances, the installation is conceived as a large 'living room' with the audience and comedian in close proximity. The theater space can be spatially subdivided to reinforce this proximity on "slow" nights without losing the sense of intimacy.

Entering from Broadway, a grand staircase leads down to the bar lounge. The main design narratives for the club are introduced as iconic references to the Commedia dell'arte. This iconography is synthesized into different scales of pattern, form, and material throughout the rest of the project.

The bar/lounge was designed as a series of intimate areas for dining and drinking. Materials including velvets, tapestries, stained and colored woods, metals, and terrazzo reinforce the Renaissance references. Custom-designed 'bar fly' stools, tables, and lighting complete the overall integration of the theme.

Inside the comedy theater, the 'living room' concept is immediately apparent, with three large curved 'couches' dividing the tiers. Integrated fiber optic lighting highlights each couch. Each tier is additionally delineated with operable velvet drapes to provide for visual and acoustic privacy. Lighting is organized for the theatrical performances, with separate systems for architectural and supplemental systems for TV recording. The stage is modular, with reconfigurable sections to suit various performances. All aspects of the club are handicapped accessible.

As a leader in the field of comedy production for both live performances and television. Carolines represents a significant commitment to design in an arena not renown for design excellence.

This project was featured as a cover story in the February 1993 issue of Interior Design Magazine and was the recipient of the following awards:

1993    American Institute of Architects : New York State Design Awards.
1994    United States Institute of Theatre Technology : Merit Award.
1995    American Institute of Architects : National Honor Award for Interiors.

Carolines Theater
Comedy Theatre
Carolines Bar
Bar Restaurant
Carolines Bar
Carolines Entrance Stair
Entrance Stair
Carolines Drinks Shelf
Drinks Rail
Carolines Bar Detail
Bar Detail

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