A Place that Performs

May 1, 2008

NORTHRIDGE/LOS ANGELES, CA - Construction is underway on the California State University (CSU) Northridge Performing Arts Center. Designed by HGA Architects and Engineers, the facility has a construction cost of $98 million and a project cost of $125 million. The 163,000-square-foot Performing Arts Center, prominently located on the campus' south edge, will serve as a cultural hub for the university, the San Fernando Valley, and the greater Los Angeles area.

Images: HGA Architects and Engineers

"The Performing Arts Center will contribute to CSU Northridge's growing academic reputation and commitment to the performing arts," said Jamie Milne Rojek, AIA, arts specialist and project manager with HGA. "The center reaches out to the larger community while enhancing student academic and cultural life."

The Performing Arts Center includes a 1,700-seat, multi-purpose concert hall, a 250-seat black box theatre, backstage support, classrooms, a 150-seat lecture room, rehearsal and events space, and a new broadcast facility for KCSN public radio. The center will host a range of performances, from orchestra to opera, theater, and Broadway shows, dance, film, lectures, and student productions.

The design features a dramatic glass lobby wall that visually opens the interior to the campus. Stone, tile, and glass embrace the lobby as a sweeping staircase stretches upward three levels to the upper balcony and a rooftop terrace. Further inside, the technically superior performance hall incorporates flexible acoustics, audio, and lighting to accommodate various performances. Sinuous wood ribbons radiate from the stage, wrapping the balconies and walls in warm hues. Lighting and speakers discreetly slip behind the ribbons as stainless steel mesh panels along the back shimmer in the pre-show light while patrons take their seats.

The facility projects a public face in all direction, with no official "back side." Loading docks and service functions hide behind moveable screen walls that complement the architecture. Construction is scheduled to complete in 2010.

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