Project Description /Overview

The La Jolla Playhouse on the UCSD campus took the concept of a flexible "Black Box" theater, and reapplied it to create an extraordinary building consisting of three large classrooms, technical support and warehouse spaces, and offices to provide the Playhouse with a permanent artistic and administrative home.


The theater structure consists of an articulated reinforced perimeter wall. Using reinforced concrete masonry, a unique form of warped planes and canted walls have been generated through the age old techniques of masons in corbelling.


While the materials and construction methods of the Playhouse are conventional, the analytical approach was anything but. NYA successfully met several challenges involved in the project, including the structure's complex geometric form, a rigid acoustic requirement, and various loading and fire rating requirements. Through use of computer aided analysis, the limits of the potential for the corbelled masonry was explored and evaluated. This resulted in a load bearing masonry structure that has its roots deep in the traditions of the mason and also has a strong relationship in the modern virtual world. Combining traditional and modern techniques, it created a unique and buildable solution that extends the limits of the traditional approach.
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