Auerbach Pollock Friedlander collaborated with HGA Architects and Engineers on the programming, planning, design, and construction phases for the Valley Performing Arts Center. The five-story, U-shaped building features a central courtyard and is designed to support the California State University’s academic and cultural program, national, and international touring groups and the broader community including the Los Angeles film industry.

The firm provided full scope theatre consulting services for the multi-use complex, which includes a 1,700-seat theatre, a 232-seat lecture hall, a 178-seat flexible experimental theatre, classrooms, rehearsal and event spaces, and costume and scene shops.

Both the concert hall and the large rehearsal room are used by national and local touring companies and smaller arts organizations and will be available for film premieres, conferences, meetings, and other film industry events. The concert hall is also used for orchestra, opera, Broadway tours, contemporary music, and dance. The acoustically-flexible proscenium venue features a three-tier seating configuration and excellent sightlines. All architectural elements have been designed to allow for theatrical and technical adjustments. The custom orchestra shell complements the audience chamber and supports the necessary acoustic performance.

“The orchestra shell in the Great Hall was completely custom designed and matches the style and finish of the side walls and ceilings, designed by HGA, in the audience chamber,” says Auerbach Pollock Friedlander’s project manager, Mike McMackin. “The acoustic requirements were established by McKay Conant Hoover, and Auerbach Pollock Friedlander developed the performance criteria, automated machinery, and structure so that this large orchestra shell could be set up with a crew of four in under an hour. The entire shell ceiling can be demounted and stored to accommodate large touring productions.”

The orchestra pit is equipped with a stage lift that can be used at pit level, audience level, or stage level. A lift for the house “sound-mix” position allows the sound console to be lowered into a storage area under the auditorium and replaced by removable seats. The stage is 114’ wide and 50’ deep, with a proscenium that can be adjusted from 40’ to 54’ wide to 25’ to 31’ in height.

The flexible studio theatre, studio terrace, shops, light lab, costume shop, design studio, and related support spaces will be occupied by the CSUN Mike Curb College of Arts Media and Communication.

With sustainability as a key design goal, the resource efficient building was certified LEED Gold by the United States Green Building Council.

Creative Team
Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, Theatre Consultant
HGA Architects and Engineers, Architect
McKay Conant Hoover, Inc., Acoustics & AV
HGA Architects and Engineers, MEP Engineer
HGA Architects and Engineers, Structural Engineer
C.W. Driver, Contractor
Pamela Burton & Company, Landscape Architect


Great Hall
56 Linesets
2 Light Ladders and Tabs
3 Motorized Shell Ceilings
3 Speaker Winches
1 Motorized Forestage Reflector

Variable Acoustics
36 acouStac
20 Custom banners

Custom Shell

Gala Systems

Trapped Floor
Stage and Fore Stage Gridiron

7 ETC Sensor+ Rack
1 ETC Sensor+ Sine Wave Rack
1 ETC Eos Console