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.
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.
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.