© David Wakely
© David Wakely
© David Wakely

Firehouse Arts Center

Pleasanton, California

Just east of San Francisco, in the developing suburbs of Alameda County, there are few remaining historic buildings recalling earlier times. Pleasanton’s historic Firehouse No. 1, sited adjacent to the City’s proposed Central Park arts campus, offered the opportunity to bridge the downtown with park land by adapting the old firehouse structure into the anchor visual arts gallery and an expanded multi-arts venue – the Firehouse Arts Center for the visual and performing arts. As the second performing arts facility run by the City, the Center celebrates the historic fabric of Pleasanton on a beloved heritage site that welcomes visitors to downtown. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided theatre and audio-video consulting for the Firehouse Theater.

New construction accommodating additional public and educational space features the Firehouse Theater, a 230-seat multi-use end-stage theatre complete with full tension grid, a ring of galleries and comprehensive lighting, audio and video systems. Although the theatre’s design focuses on its use as a modestly embellished working space, the overall architecture of the facility celebrates the restoration of the original 1929 building while providing modern design amenities for the 1,194-square-foot new construction addition.

The City of Pleasanton opted to keep sustainability in the forefront of design. The building was built to the criteria equivalent to a rating of LEED Silver.

Architect: ELS Architects
Acoustics: Charles M. Salter Associates
Size: 20,000 SF
Completion: 2010