Project File: The show must go on

With performances scheduled for fall 2002, the Center for the Arts at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), is on an aggressive 27-month schedule. The 106,370-square-foot facility will include a multilevel hall, seating up to 1,800 people.

The facility will include an attic area, catwalks, entrance canopy, lobby and attached studio theater that will seat up to 250. Features such as variable acoustics, sophisticated multimedia technology, including an integrated sound system; theater lighting; a high-volume, low-velocity, quiet-design HVAC system with vibration isolation; an interior imported stone veneer with architectural woodwork; and an imported stone exterior with a glass atrium/lobby.

Multiple levels, sloped conditions and grid lines on skewed angles complicated the basement construction. The structural framing system also posed significant challenges to the construction team. The performance hall has a large amount of open space that made the conventional structural-steel erection methods unfeasible. Huge, multi-component steel trusses that weighed up to 30 tons were built on the ground and then put into place.

The project required early planning with a steel subcontractor to plan the erection and crane access, as well as computer simulations to determine how the trusses would react when moved.

General contractor for the project is McCarthy (Sacramento, Calif.).

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