Things remain as busy as ever. Because we were bursting at the seams, we moved the office to bigger and better space in December, and have made ourselves quite at home at 400 Montgomery St. at California St. in downtown San Francisco. We’ve been enjoying the momentum of our public sector work, which has continued to be strong, taking advantage of the extremely advantageous bid climate. In addition to our day jobs, we’ve been out there doing other things as well:
Ian, Jedd (having done so for several years running) and Alex designed sound, scenery and lighting, respectively, for Lorraine Hansberry Theatre’s Black Nativity, and once again Ian produced last year’s recording. At the USITT Conference Bruce will be on a panel discussing the Berkeley Rep’s new building, where he worked and served as the owner’s project guy, and Adam was on the judging panel for this year’s USITT “Ideal Theatre” student design competition with Michael Tingley of BOORA Architects and Kurt Graffy of ARUP Acoustics. Adam continues to serve on the VA Tech School of Architecture + Design Advisory Board, and spoke on the topic of renovations/adaptations at the Theatre New Mexico Conference. Ian is again teaching theatre sound at Ohlone College. Alex became a LEED Accredited Professional, and Ben lectured at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Architecture Theatre Studio about multiform theatres and his pastime of kite aerial photography (which is just like it sounds: you mount a camera to a kite).
We recently finished a slew of projects: The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA opened to much acclaim, and the addition to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento opens soon. The stunning Michael J Homer Science and Student Life Center at the Sacred Heart Preparatory is expected to achieve LEED Platinum Certification, and we are back there once again in design for the elementary level St. Joseph’s School. Completing a comprehensive re-work and addition to American River College’s performing arts programs, Phase II opening and includes a black box theatre and music education spaces.
We finished a new building at Butte College for Instruction Arts with music, media and theatre spaces, as well as a renovation of the historic Castlemont High School. The unique New People project opened as a home for Japanese popular culture, which includes a high end cinema.
We are in design for yet another comprehensive performing and media arts building, this time for the Los Angeles Valley College with Ehrlich Architects. It will include a 450-seat theatre, two studio theatres, a screening room and other rehearsal and educational facilities.
As a tangent to our work on all six campuses in the San Mateo Unified High School District, we helped write Career Technical Education grants that secured $3 million in funding. We are now in design on the next group of three schools’ theatres, including a complete gut of the 1,500-seat San Mateo Performing Arts Center.
We’re on the home stretch of construction on one of our most comprehensive projects: the Visual and Performing Arts Center at Folsom Lake College, which is within the Los Rios Community College District in the Sacramento area. It includes an 835-seat theatre that will serve the region as a professionally operated PAC as well as the College and District, which augmented the state budget with local funds. The 90,000 sf building also includes a visual arts gallery, a 200-seat drama studio theatre, a 100-seat recital hall, a full-featured recording studio, rehearsal spaces for drama and music, theatre production and education shops, classrooms and administrative space. You can view images of the project on our project page.
So many others in design: We’re helping to plan the amphitheatre at the Orange County Great Park, a new studio theatre and system replacements at Whitman College, renovations at Monterey Peninsula College, an auditorium for the Guide Dogs for the Blind, a new community hall for CCSF North Beach in Chinatown, a classroom and performance building at Harvey Mudd College, and adaptations to the Hiland Theatre in Albuquerque for the rapidly expanding National Dance Institute, and more high schools and colleges than we should name drop on any one web page.
Other buildings going up include, at long last, the new home for the Exploratorium on two piers in San Francisco and the Shanghai Cultural Square. Also: Yuba College, Pierce College, Antelope Valley College, Palo Verde College, San Bernardino Valley College, improvements to Flanagan Chapel at Lewis & Clark College, and Lincoln Hall at Portland State University.
Our AV services are booming: besides work on many of our theatres, we’ve done or are doing work for the San Jose Civic Auditorium, King School of Law, the Public Policy Institute of California, the Arc Pavilion at UC Davis, and the Memorial Stadium in Napa, among others.