HGA-Designed Valley Performing Arts Center Honored for Design Excellence

Facility at California State University-Northridge acknowledged in several recent design awards programs


Valley Performing Arts Center exterior Valley Performing Arts Center interior

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) at California State University-Northridge has won several recent design awards for architectural excellence. Designed by HGA Architects and Engineers, the Performing Arts Center received an AIA Minnesota Honor Award, an AIA Los Angeles Merit Award, an ENR California /McGraw-Hill Construction Award of Merit, and a Design Award in the Institutional Category by the Southern California Development Forum.

AIA Minnesota Awards jurors said that the project had the confidence to let the program speak for itself. They loved the clarity of vision and attention to detail and felt the auditorium, in particular, is refined and beautifully detailed, reinforcing the idea of restraint.

The Performing Arts Center sets a new standard for performance spaces in the San Fernando Valley while serving the greater Los Angeles area.

Prominently located on the southwest corner of campus, the U-shaped, 166,000-square-foot building includes a 1,700-seat concert hall, 175-seat studio theater, rehearsal space, classrooms, 230-seat lecture hall, and broadcast space for KCSN radio. A grand lobby visually opens the interior to the surrounding neighborhood. Travertine, stone tile and glass embrace the lobby as a grand staircase sweeps upward. The three-tier concert hall features a professional stage house with an 85-foot-high fly-tower. Sinuous wood ribbons wrap the interior in warm hues.

“Our greatest goal with the Valley Performing Arts Center was that it becomes a ‘Commons’ for the San Fernando Valley,” says William Robert Bucker, dean of the College of Arts, Media, and Communication. “This is where people come to convene when something important is going on. It takes the story of the campus to the community.”

The Performing Arts Center is LEED® Gold certified.

HGA has a specialty practice in visual and performing arts facilities for colleges and universities nationally. Among HGA’s recent work are the School of Visual, Performing and Communication Arts at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California; the Visual & Performing Arts Village at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California; the Performance Center at Napa Valley College in Napa, California; the Uptown Performance & Visual Arts Campus at Columbus State University Riverpark in Columbus, Georgia; the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center under renovation at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.