С槼ֱ

The Colburn Center is Ready for Groundbreaking

Gehry’s vision for the Colburn Center blends artistry with function and distinct identity to create an original structural composition. The building consists of an ensemble of interlocking volumes built into a terrain that slopes down from Olive Street to Hill Street and clad in a pink metallic finish. The components are knit together by an expansive light-filled entrance and a pair of gardens planted at street and rooftop level. At the heart of the building is education and performance.

The Colburn Center is Ready for Groundbreaking

After years of dreaming, planning, and designing, the С槼ֱ is ready to break ground on the new Frank Gehry-designed Colburn Center, a 100,000 square foot expansion adjacent to Colburn’s current campus in Downtown Los Angeles.

These state-of-the-art performance venues and learning spaces will support students in all units of the School and make the Colburn campus an even livelier hub of artistic activity. The expansion builds on our mission of education through performance and will provide future generations of students access to world-renowned performance and rehearsal spaces,” said Sel Kardan, С槼ֱ President and Chief Executive Officer.

Expanding Artistic Excellence

Since the School planted roots on Grand Avenue 25 years ago, its number of students, faculty, visiting guest artists, and audiences has grown year after year. It’s no surprise the School needed to branch out. First was the addition of the Olive St. building, and now, the Colburn Center. The land was purchased in 2016, the building project was announced two years later, and in spring 2022, the architectural design by Frank Gehry was unveiled. Now with construction underway, expected to be completed in 2027, the Colburn Center will exponentially expand the school’s footprint in Downtown Los Angeles. Located next to two other projects by the renowned architect – the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Grand – it will create the largest concentration of Gehry-designed buildings in the world.

“With its Coburn Center expansion, the С槼ֱ is making a monumental investment in three key DTLA pillars—education, culture, and architecture—and helping to take the Grand Avenue cultural district on Bunker Hill to new heights,” said Suzanne Holley, President and CEO of the DTLA Alliance.

“As an anchor civic and cultural organization, The Music Center looks forward to the new Colburn Center and the possibilities it will offer to students, artists, and the public. This innovative addition of another incredible building by Frank Gehry will further enrich the vibrant arts and cultural landscape along the Grand Avenue cultural corridor in Downtown Los Angeles, enhancing accessibility and fostering creativity for all,” added Rachel S. Moore, president and CEO, The Music Center.

A Blueprint for Creativity

The Colburn Center will sit at 2nd and Olive Streets, adjacent to the current campus. Gehry’s vision blends artistry with function and distinct identity to create an original structural composition. The building consists of an ensemble of interlocking volumes built into a terrain that slopes down from Olive Street to Hill Street and clad in a pink metallic finish. The components are knit together by an expansive light-filled entrance and a pair of gardens planted at street and rooftop level. Of course, Gehry and his team kept performance at the heart of it all.

For example the 1,000-seat hall named for Terri and Jerry Kohl won’t be just another concert hall. Audience members will encircle the performance platform for an immersive, intimate experience. The platform has room to hold more than 100 musicians, plus an orchestra pit large enough to accommodate 70 musicians. Even the space above has been carefully arranged. Gehry and his longtime acoustical engineer, Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics, have incorporated concrete sound clouds suspended from the ceiling to not only inject an intriguing aesthetic but function as an acoustic enhancement. In keeping with this airy atmosphere, two skylights will bring daylight into the space.

“The main thing is that the engineering doesn’t overwhelm the personal thing, the human feeling,” Gehry stated last year during “A Conversation with Frank Gehry” event at Colburn.

In addition to becoming the future home of the Colburn Orchestra, the flagship ensemble of the Conservatory of Music, the concert hall will provide flexible configurations to accommodate a full orchestra, operas, and large musical theater productions. As the only mid-sized hall in Downtown Los Angeles, it will provide much-needed performance space for the region’s established and emerging performing arts organizations.

The Colburn Center also will become the new permanent site for the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, more than doubling its current space. A 100-seat theater dedicated to dance includes tiered seating that allows for a variety of configurations and vantage points. Four glass-enclosed studios of varying sizes give students, faculty, and guest dancers a bright space to learn, explore, and grow to their fullest potential.

The outdoor space around, and on top, of the Center has not been overlooked. Intended to advance the greening of Downtown, students, parents, guests, faculty, and community members will be welcomed into a beautiful, lush, and abundant street-level garden that will showcase yet another performance space. A rooftop garden will be an idyllic setting for receptions as well as small performances.

Investing in the Future

The Colburn Center has been made possible through the transformative gifts of philanthropists from Los Angeles and around the world. The Building Our Future Campaign thus far has raised $315 million toward its $400 million goal.

We are deeply grateful to the generous donors who have allowed us to reach this milestone. Our fundraising continues to push forward, and a seat naming campaign for our future spaces and as well as our current halls will launch soon,” said Kardan.

To be a part of this important development in Southern California’s future, contact our Philanthropy Office at philanthropy@colburnschool.edu.