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Façade project wins two design awards

View of the metal facade of Light/Station.

Christopher Romano’s design of a perforated, deep-textured metal façade for “Light/Station,” a new facility for Buffalo’s Torn Space Theater, took home two AIA Buffalo/WNY design awards. Photo: Douglas Levere


Published November 29, 2018

Headshot of Christopher Romano.

Christopher Romano

Christopher Romano, research assistant professor of architecture, has won two design awards from the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects for his design of a façade project that gives new light to Buffalo’s East Side.

Romano’s design of a perforated, deep-textured metal façade for “Light/Station,” a new facility for Buffalo’s Torn Space Theater, received design awards in both the Commercial and Small Project categories by the AIA Buffalo/WNY. The awards were presented earlier this monty at the chapter’s 2018 awards ceremony.

Representing the energy of Torn Space as a center for creative experimentation and engagement, the façade radiates light into the surrounding Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood. The structure, which opened in fall 2017, serves as the new green room, design studio and conference space for the Torn Space performing arts group. Previously, Torn Space performed out of the grain elevators in Buffalo’s Silo City.

Light/Station was designed by Romano through his practice, Studio NORTH Architecture.

According the jury, the design was a “jury darling.”

“The design thinking behind the development of the screen was amazing. A fun, whimsical, elegant project. The outcome addressed the intent very well. The jury kept guessing at what was on the inside, but as a project self-described as an enclosure, it was evaluated on that criteria. The play of the openings in the panels and their layering created an enclosure that was so closely modeled in the diagrams it appeared otherworldly on the site. Of special note, the stone used at the base — the coarseness against the perforated metal is very sophisticated.”

The project’s design assistant was Daniel Vrana, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Architecture and manager of fabrication services in the school’s Fabrication Workshop. Project clients are Dan Shanahan and Melissa Meola, founders of Torn Space Theater.