Flexible design turns a theater into a year-round multi-use facility.
Continuous social interaction and activity
HED’s design for Yerba Buena High School’s new Performing Arts Building reimagines possibilities for a high school theater space -encouraging creativity by providing a space where learning and interaction can occur simultaneously. HED’s design strategy was developed with both present and future uses in mind, developing a flexible student environment focused on building pride, ownership, and identity, while inspiring creative pursuits of all kinds. From fully retractable audience seating, to glazed operable partitions throughout, to multiple lighting grid locations, the building design maximizes and celebrates flexibility. The conventional performance space model, which might sit vacant throughout the day, and only used a few times per year, has been replaced by a series of interconnected gallery, lobby, and “stage” spaces. These allow both intimate and large-scale performances; as well as both scheduled and impromptu activity.
A series of curved ceiling baffles lead from the lobby into the performance hall, where their dramatic shapes frame the proscenium opening, enhancing the drama of both performance and daily use. Curving walls, textured plaster serve to create a sense of occasion, and provide both tactile and visual interest throughout the building. Ultimately, this unique space for creative pursuits will serve and inspire students now and into the future.