Construction Zone: Cultural Center

Construction Zone: Cultural Center

Soka University of America’s new Performing Arts Center and Academic Building project.

Soka University of America’s new Performing Arts Center and Academic Building project, situated on 1.9 acres in Aliso Viejo, Calif., recently was completed. The center is a venue in South Orange County for concerts, theater productions, lectures and assemblies, enhancing the university’s role as a cultural center and community gathering place.

The $73 million project included construction of a three-level, 47,836-square-foot Performing Arts Center housing a reception lobby, support spaces and a 1,200-seat auditorium. A four-level, 48,974-square-foot Academic Building next to the center houses classrooms, faculty offices, a 150-seat black-box theater, dressing rooms, rehearsal/dance studio, musician warmup spaces and other support areas. The project was designed to earn LEED gold certification.

Because of sloping terrain, both structures presented design and construction challenges. The Performing Arts Center features a green roof and solar panels, while the Academic Building has a clay tile roof to match the existing campus.

Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP (Los Angeles) designed the project. McCarthy (Newport Beach, Calif.) was general contractor.

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