Sacramento Community Center Theater1301 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Design Achievement - Opened in 1974 and without a major renovation since, the Sacramento Community Center Theater is a professional performing arts center in dire need of a transformation. The aging brutalist structure is closed off from view and separated from the surrounding urban fabric. The building has aging infrastructure and needs a comprehensive modernization to meet the escalating requirements of contemporary performance and to present a new face to the public as the premier cultural institution in the state capitol. DLR Group|Westlake Reed Leskosky’s renovation and expansion design opens the building to the surrounding urban fabric and brings Sacramento’s rich culture of trees into the building. Contrasting with the opaque concrete of the exterior, a material palette of transparency and lightness creates a welcoming presence at the pedestrian level. Two new lobbies flank the building’s north and south elevations, with a formal, light-filled glass lobby at the south and a covered outdoor room to the north. A lacy scrim providing dappled light reminiscent of the light through a tree canopy surrounds the formal lobby and continues to the north as a canopy. Major renovations to the audience chamber transform an acoustically poor and visually confusing interior into a warm, inviting acoustically superior performance space. Together, these efforts provide a venue to the people of Sacramento that is unique to their community and needs.
Scope Summary - The project scope called for improvements throughout the entire existing 98,000 SF building and the addition of 25,000 SF of needed program in the heart of Sacramento’s downtown core. The work includes a complete exterior renovation; new mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and theatrical systems; and substantial updates to the interior finishes throughout the building. Providing an accessible venue to all patrons and performers is the primary goal of the project, which entails significant modification to the external and internal circulation. The primary accessibility effort is the removal of the entire audience chamber floor and the provision of new seating and aisle ways throughout. The existing theater’s acoustics represents a compromise to accommodate a wide range of performances; an electro-acoustic enhancement system will provide a tunable and acoustically superior audience chamber to meet all the needs of the resident companies. DLR Group|WRL provided architecture, interiors, graphic, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, theatrical, acoustics, audio visual, lighting and low voltage design. All renderings represent draft design concepts.
DLR Group acquired Westlake Reed Leskosky in September 2016. Today, the combined design expertise and resources of Westlake Reed Leskosky and DLR Group serve clients as a global, integrated design firm committed to elevating the human experience through design.