How do you design a state-of-the-art performance space with huge moving parts?
How do you design a state-of-the-art performance space with huge moving parts?

Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center

With an energy-efficient design, this DSA approved Performing Arts Center provides acoustically separated rooms, exposed structural elements, and a full-performance theater with a moveable orchestra pit.
Customized Solution
  • This new facility includes a 500-seat full performance theater, a 150-seat black-box theater, catwalks, scene shop, studios, and rehearsal spaces. Perhaps the greatest engineering challenge was the full performance theater with its massive counterweight system, located in the fly tower, which controls large moveable sections of the theatrical space.
  • Even with exposed concrete and steel structural elements throughout the building, Forell | Elsesser helped create acoustic separations between rooms, as it was essential for sound to be contained between each performance/rehearsal space. In addition to these sound requirements, the project team met the rigorous plan checking of the Division of State Architect (DSA).
  • The building design uses passive systems including natural daylighting in perimeter spaces as well as natural ventilation within the corridors and lobby to increase energy efficiency.

Academic - Community College, K-12, Performing Arts/Museums/Libraries

  • Architect: HGA
  • Owner: Napa Valley Community College
  • Combination of steel braced frames and concrete shear walls
  • 80,000 lbs. of counterweights in theatre fly tower to control movable orchestra pit and other moving theatrical elements