A 166,000 sq ft facility was opened in January as a ‘memorable architectural and cultural landmark for the entire San Fernando Valley’ in Los Angeles, California. The Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University was designed by HGA Architects and Engineers, and combines a 1,700 seat multipurpose concert hall with a 178 seat black box theatre, backstage support, classrooms, a 230 seat lecture room, rehearsal and events space and a new broadcast facility for KCSN public radio.
Intelligent design in the main concert hall means that the position of the orchestra platform can be adapted to the needs of the venue, travelling 15ft to three pre-set levels. An area of the stage can be projected into the audience chamber, set at audience level to boost seating capacity, or placed below audience level to cater to the needs of the musical ensemble.
The contemporary facility uses 30,000 sq ft of glass, 4,000 tonnes of steel and 11,000 cubic yards of concrete, and has been designed to achieve United States Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Silver Certification. HGA explains: “The HVAC system taps into the university's four existing chillers for cooling and dehumidification. In addition, the system utilises recovered heat from two hydrogen fuel cells feeding the campus electrical grid to provide heating and domestic hot-water load. Within the performance hall, a displacement-ventilation system uses the natural buoyancy of warm air to provide ventilation and comfort with air supplied from floor-mounted registers under audience seats.”