[avon theater courtyard] birmingham, alabama

Completion date: 2015 | 1,400sf

A new courtyard space at the primary entrance to the Avon Theater in the Lakeview district.

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The historic Avon Theater was renovated in 2007 to provide a space for Red Mountain Church both as a place for worship and as an event space for the community. When the renovations were completed, a previous parking area remained with the intent that it would be removed in the future to make way for outdoor space. The Avon Theater is in the middle of the Lakeview Entertainment District, home to many restaurants & bars and is located between the downtown district of Birmingham, the campus of the University of Alabama - Birmingham and several urban residential neighborhoods. Across the street from the Courtyard is the new 29Seven project, a mixed use building with apartments and restaurants. The original theater building was built in 1928. The site of the courtyard was perhaps intended for additional retail shop space to continue across the volume of the theater, which is oriented parallel to the street but set back about 75’ from the property line. The Courtyard provides a level surface (the parking area was sloped) on both scored concrete and on crushed limestone. Steps from the sidewalk are angled to align with the odd geometry of the site and begin to re-orient views back to the theater entrance. Low cedar screen walls were installed above the concrete site walls in order to give a measure of separation between the courtyard space and the public sidewalk. Two benches are built into these screen walls for informal seating. With the completion of the Avon Courtyard, an informal public space has been added to the growing and thriving Lakeview District of Birmingham. The Courtyard also completes the streetscape on it’s particular block, removing an unused parking lot and bringing life to a space that was before empty.