Since it opened in January of 2011, the Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University, Northridge has garnered attention and honors for its striking, curved-glass exterior and environment-friendly features.
The latest recognition comes from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), which has chosen to honor the facility with an Architecture Merit Award. The Valley Performing Arts Center, one of only five arts centers selected for this honor, will officially receive the award at USITT’s annual conference and stage expo in Milwaukee, Wis., in the spring. The award is granted on the basis of creativity, contextual resonance, functional operation, use of new technology and community contribution.
Designed by HGA Architects and Engineers, VPAC boldly encompasses modern technology, acoustical grandeur and sustainable design. Already a cultural landmark in the San Fernando Valley, VPAC provides a link between the broad community and Cal State Northridge with its A-list performances, lectures and concerts.
USITT officials noted the uniqueness of the building with its three-tier layout and soaring glass frame that supports two performance halls within a single complex surrounded by a calming reflection pool.
“This recognition is interesting because it looks specifically at the technical capacity of the center, honoring the very high-end technical capabilities of VPAC,” said William Robert Bucker, dean of CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication and executive director of the Valley Performing Arts Center. “One room that was most notable to the awards committee was the Experimental Theatre. Because it does not require the use of ladders, generally a staple in the industry, it allows for quick set designs and shows a great movement forward in the technology used for theater.”
Bucker noted that the Experimental Theatre has offered an enhanced experience for student performances and audiences because of its technical improvements in lighting and acoustics, two areas USITT utilized in their judgment of theatre architecture.
Other honors awarded to VPAC include the 2011 Southern California Development Forum Design Award, 2011 AIA Los Angeles Design Award, 2012 IES/IIDA Section Guth Award for Interior Lighting Design and 2012 Los Angeles Business Council Architecture Award. VPAC also is one of the few theatres ranked LEED Gold.
For more information about the Valley Performing Arts Center and its events, visit its website at http://www.valleyperformingartscenter.org/.