Architecture People & Places


LPA - Performing Arts Center in Arcadia, California

LPA, Inc. designed a new Performing Arts Center for the Arcadia High School campus in Arcadia, California. Photo: RMA Photography

Constructed on a 4.2-acre site at the northwest end of the Arcadia High School campus, a new 40,000 square-foot (3,700-square-meter) theater venue has been completed, in Arcadia, California. The Arcadia High School Performing Arts Center was designed, with a particular focus on music, by LPA and built by McCarthy Building Companies.

The main performance hall accommodates up to 1,200 people, with seating on ground-floor and mezzanine levels, while the stage can accommodate up to 150 musicians. This space also uses adjustable accoustic panels that can be configured based on the needs of each performance.

The 1200-seat performance hall of the Performing Arts Center. Photo: RMA Photography

The building's entry foyer is a multistory, glazed volume that fronts an adjacent street, with a grand staircase leading up to a mezzanine level balcony.

Building foyer and main stair. Photo: RMA Photography

Other key elements of the building include three classrooms adjacent to the main hall, a large orchestra room with sound-proof practice rooms, instrument storage, a library, a 125-seat drama performance space, and a dance room. Support spaces include dressing rooms, a backstage facility for prop and costume storage, and stage craft areas.

Built with a sloping concrete floor, the steel frame structure features an exterior of glass, smooth plaster panels, and brick. Interior finishes include cabinetry for music instrument storage, and multiple flooring types such as wood, ceramic tile, carpet, terrazzo, and concrete.

North elevation overview. Photo: RMA Photography

The $20-million building opened in October 2012 with a benefit concert headlined by Paul Anka. An auditorium was part of the Arcadia High School campus master plan when the new school was built in 1952, however funding for such a project was not secured until 2007.

Project Details
  • Client: Arcadia Unified School District
  • Architect: LPA, Inc. of Irvine, California
  • Builder: McCarthy Building Companies.
  • Building Area: 40,000 square feet (3,700 square meters)
  • Materials: steel, concrete, glass, brick, composite aluminum, cement plaster, gypsum plaster
  • EUI: (not available)

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