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VALLEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

This project is located at the entrance to the California State University at Northridge campus. It was created while at Pamela Burton and Company as Director of Design. The Performing Arts School is located here in a building that contains classrooms, a café, and public auditoriums. The building enfolds a courtyard which we designed to accommodate a variety of daytime performance classes, lectures and comfortable social spaces for spectators attending the evening events. Emily Green of the Los Angeles Times described this space as “a courtyard with a Dr. Seuss-worthy assembly of succulents (that) achieves a tenfold reduction in the site’s water use”. A new bosque containing nearly 200 native trees was planted on two sides of the site on top of repurposed soil from the building excavations. The bosque masks neighboring buildings, provides a dramatic entry sequence into the Performing Arts Center, provides animal habitat, much needed shade, and makes the space around the Center more intimate. Students regularly utilize this space for film projects and impromptu performances.

This landscape installation set a benchmark for sustainable design on the campus by reducing the amount of water used by nearly 90%. It provides outdoor spaces that people actually occupy all year round in this hot, semi-arid part of Los Angeles.

2012 Civic Award, Los Angeles Business Journal

photo © Jill Paider Photography