Colburn School revises plans for $350M expansion on Bunker Hill

100K sf addition designed by Frank Gehry would include concert hall, dance studios and 100-seat theater in DTLA

Renderings of Colburn School expansion ( Colburn School, Gehry Partners)
Renderings of Colburn School expansion ( Colburn School, Gehry Partners)

The Colburn School, a Downtown Los Angeles center for dance and music, has unveiled revised plans for a 100,000 square foot campus expansion designed by architect Frank Gehry.

The school now plans to build a 1,000-seat concert hall, four dance studios and a 100-seat studio theater in one building at its Bunker Hill campus, Urbanize Los Angeles reported.

The $350-million expansion is much smaller than the one announced four years ago for the Grand Avenue Arts corridor, which called for two performance halls with seating for 1,100 and 700 guests.

Likewise, former plans for a shimmering glass facade now call for a stainless steel exterior design. Or if the budget allows, titanium with a pinkish tint.

The updated design adds new open space, including a roof garden above the studio theater and a garden behind a gated entrance at Hill and 2nd Streets. A new plaza would replace a small parking lot at 2nd and Olive Streets.
A two-story stack of four glass-encased dance studios will be capped by a studio theater with 100 seats facing Hill Street, allowing passersby to view training and performances.

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Construction of the project across the street from the existing Colburn School would begin in 2023, according to a Colburn School press release, with an inaugural performance as early as Fall 2025.

The private performing arts school, founded in 1950 as a former affiliate of USC, has raised $270 million toward its $350 million expansion. Major donors include Carol Colburn Grigor, who has led the campaign, and Terri and Jerry Kohl, whose names will adorn the concert hall.

When completed, the Colburn Center addition will round out the largest concentration of Gehry-
designed buildings, which include the Walt Disney Concert Hall and a $1 billion mixed-use development known as The Grand.

[Urbanize Los Angeles] – Dana Bartholomew

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