High School for the Visual and Performing Arts

Los Angeles, California

  • FIRM

    HMC Architects


    Los Angeles Unified School District

  • AREA

    238,000 sq.ft.





The High School for the Visual and Performing Arts is part of a wave of construction revitalizing downtown Los Angeles. Situated within the Grand Avenue cultural corridor, the school is adjacent to the Colburn School of Performing Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Walt Disney Concert Hall. In perhaps the most structured use of the small learning community (SLC) ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,800COST PER SQ FT$718.00FEATURED IN2008 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYWork in Progress model, 1,800 students will participate in general academic classes and arts-specific curricula in music, dance, visual arts or performing arts.

To enhance community involvement, presentation spaces and a 950-seat theater are open to the public. A ceremonial staircase leads to a crystalline lobby, welcoming visitors to the theater and exhibition space. To enhance security, public access is at pedestrian grade, and classroom facilities are above street level. The design preserves the urban edge of Los Angeles, yet creates a protected interior space dedicated to innovative student education.

Despite large, volumetric spaces, the school will garner 41 Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) points for sustainability features.