The Forum is a 15,000 square-foot open indoor space that functions as a lobby for the main venues in the Lewis Arts complex and as a gathering and informal performance space. Entrances to the Hearst Dance Theater, Wallace Black Box Theater, CoLab, and Lee Music Performance & Rehearsal Room are all located off the Forum. An Informations Desk/day-of box office counter is located at the rear of the Forum under the staircase that leads up to the Hurley Gallery on the mezzanine level. Above the Forum is an outdoor plaza with a reflecting pool. Skylights in the pool filter natural light into the Forum below. The hard flooring is made of end-cut hardwood, and the center of the Forum features a 6’ Boston Baby Grand Piano and a sunken amphitheatre that provides an informal setting for performances and presentations. On one edge, low cushioned benches surround this lower area of the Forum and safety stanchions mark the edges on all sides. A main architectural feature is the “dancing” staircase with white metal railing, laser-cut in a pattern inspired by Labanotation, the notation system for recording and analyzing human movement. Three elevators and accompanying staircases in the Forum service all 3 buildings of the arts complex — Wallace Dance Building and Theater, Arts Tower, and Effron Music Building.
Where is the Forum?
From the NJ Transit Princeton Station, West Garage, Visitor Lot 20, and the transit parking lot, sidewalks with curb cuts lead to the Forum level entrance at the Lewis Arts complex. If coming from nearby buildings which include Forbes Residential College, Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center, two nearby restaurants, or New South, one can take sidewalks with curb cuts to the plaza level and enter either the Wallace Dance Building, the Arts Tower, or Effron Music building, where staircases or elevators from each provide access down into the Forum.
From the NJ Transit Princeton Station, the West Garage, Visitor Lot 20, and the transit parking lot, sidewalks with curb cuts lead to the Forum level entrance.
Once inside the Forum, gently sloping ramps that are part of the architectural design provide direct access (no steps or obstacles) into the Wallace Black Box Theater, the Hearst Dance Theater, the Lee Music Room, the CoLab, and the interior day-of box office and concession counter, one section of which is lowered.
The Forum is accessible via two elevators that service all other floors in the Wallace Dance Building and Theater and the Arts Tower. A third elevator in the Forum provides access to all other floors in the Effron Music Building.