University of Southern California Bovard Auditorium

University of Southern California, Bovard Auditorium Renovation

Beginning in the late 1990s with a renovation master plan, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided full-scope theatre consulting on phased changes to Bovard Auditorium, a multipurpose venue and campus landmark serving generations of students. The initial renovation marked the restoration and revitalization of one of USC’s most memorable halls. Subsequent renovations have upgraded rigging and audio systems that were phased additions in the renovation process.

The firm focused on front of house modifications as well as acoustical and lighting improvements for Bovard’s amplified and acoustic events. The complete reconfiguration of the main floor level significantly reduced the existing balcony overhang and created additional lobby space. Reconfiguration of the lower level of the hall-proper provided an intimate seating plan with significantly improved sightlines. Bovard’s signature monolithic leaded windows were reconfigured as light boxes that provided acoustical isolation from exterior mechanical yards and campus activity. The newly-captured space, located house left, was enclosed and converted to a formal gathering and event area in the form of a multi-story interior lobby/event space.

Incorporated into the stage design, a complete forestage apron lift system with a two-part forestage design allowed increased stage depth for orchestral events or, upon lowering, additional audience seating for large convocations. Technical infrastructure was improved by reconfiguring and augmenting the theatrical lighting positions and creating a new glass-enclosed control suite, providing accessible accommodation for technical staff in a visually-transparent but acoustically controlled environment.

Architect: Smith Group
Acoustics: Kirkegaard Associates
Size: 26,000 SF
Cost: $7,200,000
Completion: 2003