The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPA) originally opened in 1932 as the Westhampton Theatre. It was renovated in 1997-1998 and transformed into the state-of-the-art WHBPAC. It exists today as an important cultural destination for eastern Long Island and beyond, occupying a key site within the heart of Westhampton Beach’s downtown. Its original Colonial Revival details have been preserved on both the exterior and interior.
The WHBPAC has a thriving education program that engages young audiences year-round and is continuing to grow physically and programmatically. Mills + Schnoering Architects was selected to prepare conceptual plan drawings and renderings for several expansion options, as well as a conceptual budget estimate. Specific program needs reflected in the expansion options include a flexible performance space seating 150-200 patrons; dressing rooms; performance lab/teaching spaces; administrative space; and gallery/event space.
The new addition is effectively three stories tall, to accommodate the volume and height needs for the new theater and public spaces within. The design seeks to develop a sense of scale for pedestrians as well as a clear entrance with an exciting visual connection to the primary lobby spaces, with plenty of transparency. The materials proposed relate to those that would be found in the Westhampton Beach area – wood or cement board clapboard siding and trim, wood louvers, and glass, with colors sympathetic to the local architecture and the downtown.