May 5, 2021 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Work Wraps up on Motor Avenue 300-Seat Performing Arts Center

Construction is wrapping up on news performing on center on Motor Avenue near Century City.

The new Glorya Kaufman Performing Arts Center at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services is nearly complete after a major renovation and expansion of the non-profit’s beloved 56-year-old temple, AUX Architecture announced this week. In addition to being the future home to Vista Del Mar’s innovative therapeutic performing arts programs, the building will provide the city with a new 300-seat event venue. Construction is scheduled to be fully complete in mid-Spring 2021, with the center opening soon thereafter.

As a multi-use performing arts center, the new building will accommodate dance, music, teaching, and theatrical productions. It is designed to draw neighbors to campus when hosting community events, showcasing the non-profit’s mission to empower regional youth and families.

“This building is designed as a series of vignettes that express music and dance,” says Brian Wickersham, Founding Partner and Design Director at AUX Architecture. “The main goal was to preserve as much of the existing structure as possible, because of the value of the large space, while transforming it into something new, visually. By wrapping the building in translucent polycarbonate we were able to maintain the main gathering space while also completely transforming the look of the building. Our hope is for this building to function as the heart for both the campus and community, by enhancing not only the students’ learning experiences but Vista Del Mar’s visibility and relationship to its neighborhood.”

In designing the building to be the “glowing” new center for the non-profit, AUX Architecture used a façade material that performs at a high level of durability and sustainability. Recyclable polycarbonate wraps around the existing building as an illuminated skin, harnessing natural light and insulating the building. Directly behind the façade, a series of rhythmic columns create an interplay of light and shadow. The Martha Graham dance piece “Lamentation” was an inspiration for screens inside and outside to create the sense of compression and expansion.

In addition to the kids and families who will benefit from the new center for years to come, some of the primary benefactors are children with autism and learning disabilities. The center will provide space for an innovative therapeutic arts program to use performing arts to teach kids a variety of subjects. Spaces are designed to be both inspiring and comforting, with a color palette of light tones, high acoustical performance, and flexible rooms to inspire creative learning models.

This project was made possible by a generous gift by Glorya Kaufman, whose contributions to the arts have benefited so many and will continue to do so for future generations. The Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services’ Premiere Philanthropy Initiative is under the leadership of Vista Del Mar Chief Development and Marketing Officer Craig Prizant. “As our community contends with the pandemic, we’re reminded of the enduring power of the arts to console, heal, create community and uplift lives,” states Prizant. “In our brand-new performing arts center, Vista children and families will have every opportunity to make the journey from surviving to thriving as they participate in our cutting-edge therapeutic dance, music, theater and other programs. We’re so grateful to visionary philanthropist Glorya Kaufman for investing in our children’s futures. AUX has innovated the perfect space in which Vista families and the greater community will find joy as they root and rise by opening their minds and hearts.”

The renovation adds more than 3,000 square feet for a total building area of just over 10,000 square feet.

In December 2020 the Glorya Kaufman Performing Arts Center received a 2020 AIA Design Award, and was named People’s Choice winner during the virtual awards gala.

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