Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and Samueli Theater

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Costa Mesa, California, USA
290,000 square feet / 27,000 square meters

The Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and the Samueli Theater expand the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, one of Southern California’s premier cultural destinations.

Defining a large plaza, the building is an elegant and vibrant urban gesture and sculptural form. The main entrance to the concert hall is an undulating glass wall, while the other three sides of the building are a cubic composition in limestone. In the lobby, a silver-leafed ceiling soars 24 meters (80 feet) above. Along the staircase, 300 sparkling lamps are suspended as a spiral of graduated lengths.

Inside the 2,000-seat concert hall, a silver-leafed canopy reflects the color and movement of the performers on the stage below. The ribbons of the canopy relate to the curving forms of the concert hall balconies, the lobby ceiling, and the glass façade. The canopy appears to be almost an extension of the organ itself, reinforcing the fluid movement of the design.

The outer shell of the concert hall, chamber doors, orchestra platform, rear wall, and organ base are finished in light maple wood with battens that emphasize the horizontal lines of the hall. Balconies, which double as acoustical reflectors, are cantilevered from the walls in graceful curves. Other features include acoustic reverberating chambers and acoustic absorbing velvet draperies that are hidden in the recesses of the walls until needed.

The Samueli Theater has its own architectural identity suited to the less formal events it hosts. Above the entrance, large frosted glass panels, illuminated from behind, accent the white limestone façade. As in the concert hall, the theater lobby includes a ceiling that glows with recessed edge lighting. The room is articulated with horizontal wood battens, culminating in an end wall faced with richly colored veneers. The space accommodates end-stage, theater in the round, meeting, and banquet configurations.