• Aura Renovation & Expansion
  • Aura Renovation & Expansion
  • Aura Renovation & Expansion
  • Aura Renovation & Expansion

Aura Renovation & Expansion

Portland, ME

Location(s): 121 Center Street
Portland, ME

Size: 24,500 SF

Design Consultant: Alex Gray

Construction is currently underway for the expansion and renovation of Aura, a popular live music and restaurant facility in downtown Portland.

The project is on a tight site footprint in the Historic District, the construction is being completed while the facility, formerly known as Asylum, remains partially operational.

The existing 1960s building footprint is being expanded horizontally and vertically resulting in a total area of 24,500 SF, and also doubling the concert occupancy to 1,000. Goals for the project include increased capacity, improved stage sightlines, upgrades to accessibility and safety. The design includes a new accessible entry and elevator which will service the basement, event spaces, stage, and new balcony level.

The new first floor program is an expansion of the existing event venue, with a new performance stage, a separate pre-function/flex space, restroom upgrades, and an addition/upgrade to the kitchen. The basement level addition/renovation includes a major renovation of the club and restrooms, a new accessible entry, new Green Rooms for touring acts, and a new pre-function space. A new balcony level will include both fixed seats and standing room areas.

The exterior design approach grounds the building in strong existing masonry site elements, and contrasts it with modern aperture highlighting the event space.