LEED California Concert Hall Is Stunning

California State University, Northridge has a brand new performing arts center that can easily accommodate orchestra, opera, Broadway, film and dance. The project, designed by HGA Architects and Engineers, is also focused upon LEED certification and said to exceed the standards for Silver certification.

Featuring the dramatic design befitting such a venue, the $125 million, 166,000 square foot Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) officially opened on January 29th with a black tie gala. The center has been heralded as “one of the top three arts venues in Southern California and the new crown jewel of cultural entertainment in the San Fernando Valley.” Highlights of this cultural-landmark-in-the-making include a sculpted stone wall, a dramatic glass-wall lobby and a grand 1,700-seat concert hall with state-of-the-art variable-acoustic tuning.

HG Architects VPAC

image via HG Architects and Engineers

Efficiently heating and cooling such a huge space was a challenge for the architects, especially in light of the fact that the system employed had to be virtually silent. HGA’s design team chose a displacement ventilation system that uses the natural buoyancy of warm air to provide ventilation with air supplied from floor-mounted registers under audience seats–a system that is both more energy efficient and quieter than conventional overhead systems. Ductwork had to be larger than normal to ensure quiet operation, as well.


image via VPAC

The VPAC is set to kick off its inaugural performance season with Grammy award-winners Shawn Colvin and Loudon Wainwright III–and later, soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the Russian National Ballet, the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Metales M5, Arianna Huffington and Rosanne Cash.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

1 Comment

  • Reply March 1, 2011


    HGA’s architectural design team is a brilliant team with Gary Reetz, AIA, principal; Jamie Milne Rojek, AIA, project manager; Kara Hill, AIA, LEED AP, lead project designer; and Rebecca Krull Kraling, AIA, LEED AP, project architect. HGA’s engineering team includes Paul Asp, PE, LEED AP, structural; Ed Clements, PE, LEED AP, mechanical; Ben Gutierrez, electrical; and Kenny Horns, PE, LEED AP, civil. Other team members include C.W. Driver, construction; Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, performing arts/media facilities planners; McKay Conant Hoover, Inc., acoustic and media systems consultants; and Pamela Burton & Company, landscape architecture. I really admire them and their contribution to many projects of our universities.

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