Chapman University Musco Center for the Arts

Owner Chapman University
Lead Designer Pfeiffer Partners Architects Inc.
Contractor McCarthy Building Cos.
Civil Engineer DRC Engineering Inc.
Structural Engineer KPFF Consulting Engineers
MEP Engineer Syska Hennessy Group Inc.
Owner’s Representative Abacus Project Management Inc.
Acoustic Design Nagata Acoustics
Theatre Design Theatre Projects Consultants

The 88,000-sq-ft multifunction performing arts center was designed as a cultural beacon for campus life. The center’s Julianne Argyros Orchestra Hall features 1,044 seats on three levels in a multipurpose proscenium-style theater. Unique sound features include a field-applied plaster sound lid, “petal walls” and a multifaceted radius millwork balcony front—each weighing 20 lb per sq ft. Stringent acoustical needs demanded extensive resilient hanger and vibration isolation requirements for mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, and acoustical detailing at all penetrations. Two below-grade levels required complex stepped foundations due to the native soil being full of cobble. McCarthy’s estimating team was able to provide nearly $7 million in value engineering changes that were incorporated into the project design prior to construction start.

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