Circus Juventas contacted us seven months prior to opening their facility. With 20,000 square feet of concrete already poured, and utilities in place for the “big top” performing center, directors Bette and Dan Butler felt the lobby needed more panache and style than the one depicted in the construction set. 

“We’re on a tough schedule, do you think you can help us create the environment this school deserves?” they asked.

“We don’t think we can get it from our current architect.” 

We scrapped everything in the lobby and started over, fully aware of the tight timeline. Together, with the owners, we defined a conceptual strategy for the entry, pulling the performance space into the lobby. Prior to showtime - on catwalks, ladders, and plinths - circus performers move above, around, and under spectators arriving for a performance.

 A combination of stretched reflective fabrics, prefabricated steel framing, and spot lighting provides dramatic - yet inexpensive - spaces for moving, hiding, and acting in the midst of the entry, ticketing, and concessions. 

Locus received an AIA MN Honor Award in 2002 for the Circus Juventas Performance Lobby.