March 19, 2018

Frank Gehry Chosen to Design Major Colburn School Expansion

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIAFrank Gehry has been selected by the Colburn School to design a major expansion that will introduce four performance areas, in addition to classrooms, a dance rehearsal center, and student housing, across an estimated area of two hundred thousand square feet in its downtown Los Angeles campus. The project will develop the school’s Grand Avenue campus, which is adjacent to its Walt Disney Concert Hall, one of Gehry’s most iconic buildings. The proposed extension includes a new concert hall, this one with seating for 1,100 people. It would become the institute’s first venue for full-scale orchestra performances. A seven-hundred-seat studio theater, as well as a one-hundred-seat “cabaret-style” space, are also being planned. Acoustician Yasihisa Toyota and TheatreDNA principal Michael Ferguson—both of whom Gehry has collaborated with in the past—are attached to help with the designs.

With this project, along with recent additions to the area such as Grand Park and the Broad, Grand Avenue is poised to become a major arts hub in the city. In a statement, Gehry explained that his vision for the campus is also a vision for the community. “The expansion of the Colburn School fills an important addition to the long-held dream to create a cultural district in downtown Los Angeles,” the architect said. “The school is already an incredible asset and major player, and the expansion is a great opportunity to add breadth to this dream. I am honored to be chosen for this task, and I feel that it is an opportunity to further increase the school’s relationship to other cultural venues like The Music Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Broad, and MOCA.”

The project is now in the concept-design phase, and its estimated cost and opening date have not yet been revealed.

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