Auerbach Pollock Friedlander was a key member of the design/build team for the new Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The design team was led by Clancy & Theys Construction Company and included architects Philip Johnson / Alan Ritchie and CMSS as well as acoustical consultants Kirkegaard Associates.

Preparations for the new Center began in 2001 when a 43-member advisory committee determined the need to replace the area’s aging 1,000-seat Pavilion
Theatre. The committee noted that a new venue should be of a quality to attract Broadway level touring shows to the area as well as serve various local arts organizations, accommodate any performing art form, be flexible for use as a rental facility, and offer youth programs.

The City prepared an outline program for the facility and organized a competition for design/build teams. The design/build approach was chosen to assure a high quality facility within the available budget. The 2003 competition was awarded to the Clancy & Theys Construction Company team who also had experience in design/build working together on a previous project in the area. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander’s work included the planning of the facility, development of the Performance Hall seating configuration and design of the theatrical systems including the theatrical lighting and rigging systems for both venues.

Located in Virginia Beach’s lively Town Center neighborhood, The Sandler
Center has filled a void in the community and become a hub of culture for the entire city and surrounding area. The Sandler Center was recently recognized with an Award for Design Excellence by the Hampton Roads Chapter of
The American Institute of Architects.

Additional Facts
The 1,200-seat Performance Hall was designed for multiple uses including theatre, popular and symphonic music, dance, and public meetings. Auerbach
Pollock Friedlander worked in collaboration with the Architects to develop the initial design concepts and designed the audience configurations including seating and sightlines. The Performance Hall consists of a main orchestra level, mezzanine, and balcony.

Technical systems designed by Auerbach Pollock Friedlander include counterweight rigging, motorized acoustic banners, orchestra pit lift, orchestra shell enclosure, theatrical lighting, and an adjustable proscenium. The proscenium can be adjusted from a fifty-foot opening for orchestral performances and to a forty-foot opening for dance or smaller productions.

The technical systems were provided by Texas Scenic Company as part of the design build process. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander also specified the auditorium seating.

Miller Studio Theatre The 2,400-square foot studio theatre also serves as a rehearsal hall. The flexible space is equipped with ballet barres, a sprung floor, a variable acoustic system, a pipe grid, and lighting system and can be configured to suit various uses including banquets for up to 125 seated guests. Sound equipment and a riser-type stage are available for small meetings, performances, or lectures.

The Center Lobby has an approximately 4,100-square-foot lobby on each of its three levels, which can be rented for receptions and parties. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander’s work included input to the overall patron circulation scheme including lobby amenities.

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander’s work extended to the exterior of the outdoor performance plaza facility by developing infrastructure to support the 18,000-square-foot outdoor performance plaza. The performance plaza hosts musical events and children’s performances to further enliven the Town Center’s bustling business, restaurant, and shopping core.

Statistical Information
Size: 86,500-square-feet
Project cost: $46.7 Million (budget)
Auerbach Pollock Friedlander start date: September 30, 2004
Opening: November 3, 2007

Project Team
Auerbach Pollock Friedlander:
Steven Friedlander, ASTC, Principal in Charge
Donald Guyton, Senior Associate, Project Manager

Other Team Members:
Owner, City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission
Design Architect, Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie
Architect of Record, CMSS Architects
Acoustics, Kirkegaard Associates
Electrical Engineer, Pace Collaborative
Mechanical Engineer, Pace Collaborative
Structural Engineer, Stroud, Pence & Associates, Ltd.
Civil Engineer, MSA, P.C.
General Contractor, Clancy & Theys
Landscape Architect, CMSS Architects
Architectural Lighting, MCLA, Inc.