Corona del Mar High School Performing Arts Center

Newport Beach, California

The design for the Corona del Mar High School Theater creates an engaging, hands-on learning environment to prepare students for a future in the arts. The challenge was to develop a theater to adapt to a variety of uses and fit in a limited space, as well as blend the mid-century context of the campus. The solution was a tension-grid system with a tech gallery that wraps around the perimeter of the theater above the audience, allowing students to immerse themselves and engage in creating a production in a hands-on manner. It’s a flexible space designed to accommodate a variety of performance types, from a lecture presentation to an orchestral performance to a production of ‘Oklahoma!’ or a modern dance recital. Acoustics are balanced between reflective and absorbtive, with the ability to adjust as needed.

The complex provides students a variety of spaces to explore their creativity and passions, including singing or playing an instrument, acting, dancing, building stagecraft, producing, or setting the look of a production through costumes and make-up. Each space was designed for multiple uses. For example, the black box theater space can function as a performance space or a drama classroom on a daily basis with access from the main lobby or the campus. When a large production in the theater requires more space, the black box can double as an additional green room, prop room or dressing room space.

This 29,000-square-foot center, which is pursuing LEED Silver, offers exterior access to the black box theater, providing students with an experimental space that they can use on a daily basis. The promenade, which serves as a main path of travel for students on a daily basis, reflects campus pride and draws theater-goers along its glowing edge to the main entrance of the building off the quad.

You Might Also Like

Alamo Heights City Hall

Leon Valley Municipal Facility

Palomar College South Education Center

Tower 180°

Palm Springs Air Museum Renovation

Cambridge Elementary School Renovation

Menchaca Elementary School

660 J

Park Place Café

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Fire Station 61

Environmental Nature Center Preschool