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Home / Colburn Center

‘A hall for all’: Colburn School unveils design plans for ambitious expansion

The Colburn School for music and dance in downtown Los Angeles unveiled plans Wednesday for an ambitious 100,000-square-foot campus expansion designed by famed architect Frank Gehry.

The Colburn Center will include a 1,000-seat concert hall, four professional-sized dance studios and a 100-seat studio theater in a complex constructed near another Gehry-designed landmark — the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

“The Colburn Center is a physical manifestation of the school’s founding principle of `access to excellence,’ allowing Colburn to continue and expand our educational and performance activities in a design which breaks down barriers between audience and performer and reveals the educational process,” Colburn President Sel Kardan said in a statement.

“… Conceived as a major contribution to the cultural and civic life of downtown L.A., the Colburn Center will make the Colburn campus an even livelier hub of artistic activity and enable the school to expand its mission of presenting programs for the public, which include performance and educational collaborations with acclaimed local and touring artists and ensembles,” Kardan said.

“It will also provide much-needed performance space in a mid-sized hall for the region’s established and emerging performing arts organizations.”

The project on the corner of Olive and Second streets will also include an outdoor plaza, gardens and access to nearby public transit stations. Groundbreaking is planned for next year, with opening planned two years later.

Colburn officials said roughly $270 million has been raised in a $350 million fundraising effort for the project, led by a gift from Terri and Jerry Kohl, whose names will adorn the 1,000-seat concert hall within the expansion.

“Our dream is to create a vibrant, welcoming space for the Los Angeles community — a hall for organizations of all sizes currently without a place to call home,” the Kohls said in a joint statement.

“Truly a `hall for all’ where diverse ensembles and artists from across the city can share their performances with an audience that reflects the makeup of the population of Los Angeles. We feel deeply honored to be recognized for our part in realizing this wonderful project, which will do so much for the entire community of Los Angeles.”

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