University of Southern California, Newman Recital Hall

Los Angeles, California

  • FIRM

    SmithGroup

  • CLIENT

    Thorten School of Music

  • AREA

    6,000 sq.ft.

  • TOTAL COST

    $1,800,000.00

  • COMPLETION DATE

    1/1998

The architect provided full services (feasibility study and design through construction) for the $1.8 million remodel of the historic Hancock Auditorium for the University of Southern California (USC) School of Music. The recital hall sits within the heart of USC’s campus. The design solution respects the history, detailing and proportions of the original 1930s building ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$300.00FEATURED IN2000 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYAuditoriums/Music Rooms being a historic reproduction.

The acoustic reflector, made of bent wood panels, is above the stage and fulfills several requirements. It reflects sound evenly to the audience, holds the stage lighting and, most important, it forms a proscenium to the stage and frames the performers. The use of wood paneling throughout the hall creates a feeling of warmth and elegance.

The existing auditorium space was completely demolished and redesigned to include variable acoustic wall treatments, new seating, a new stage, enlarged backstage area and a new acoustically isolated green room. The architect worked closely with acoustical, theatrical and mechanical consultants to solve the technical issues of sound and lighting. The mechanical systems were designed to perform to exacting standards so that background noise would not be heard during performances or recording.

Photographer: ©John Linden