© Takashige Ikawa

The Buckley School, Performing Arts Center

Sherman Oaks, California

The Center for Community and Arts at The Buckley School marks a renewed commitment from the school to its students who now have a purpose-built facility for performing arts productions, concerts, assemblies, division meetings and open houses. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander collaborated with architect Frederick Fisher & Partners and Newson Brown Acoustics to create a three-story building with a classroom/live performance venue offering open, flat floor functionality as well as a flexible thrust stage environment with telescopic seating and a shallow balcony gallery surround.

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander met the challenge of designing a performance space that could be quickly converted into a large open venue for community events or school fundraisers. Utilizing three pie-shaped retractable seating banks, creates ultimate performance flexibility. Partial deployment, using individual sections or dual/mating sections of seating enables the flexibility for performance as well as functions and testing. All seating on the lower level is provided with tablet arms.

For theatrical purposes, a pipe grid, tilted upward toward the balcony seating, provides a dynamic overhead rigging plane, with tracked drapery to create a black, theatrical surround. Acoustic panels, mounted above the grid, create an appropriate listening environment for Buckley’s student musical programs.

The asymmetric performance space is certain to challenge Buckley’s dance and theatre groups in the most positive way with a move from the gymnatorium stage within the Disney Family Pavilion. Accommodation within the new Center assures a more vibrant future for the arts.

Architect:  Frederick Fisher and Partners
Acoustics:  Newson Brown Acoustics
Size:  18,000 SF
Completion:  2016