Los Angeles Harbor College Theater & Music Hall — Wilmington, CA
White Maple Veneer with Stain, Western Hemlock with Stain
The LA Harbor College Theater, built in 1962, started renovation in earnest in 2010, after a general contractor defaulted in the early 2000’s. The project entailed a number of challenging factors in rehabilitating the space: functional design for a “double-duty” performance and meeting space, acoustical treatment, and aesthetics that tied in with the existing shell. These factors and the design-build construction required the manufacturers to sign up for tight schedule coordination, while offering their technical skill and a willingness to roll up their sleeves and drive the details.
The first challenge was delivering on the complex design, which was driven by the acoustical needs. To achieve optimum acoustical performance, an acoustical engineer advised in the development of geometric ceiling and wall shapes. “I don’t think there was a perpendicular joint in the whole building,” recalled 9Wood PM Brad Leonard. These shapes were clad with 9Wood flat wood tiles and Grilles, which also integrated the intricate lighting and other fixtures.
9Wood employed 3-D modeling to deconstruct the geometric shapes. “This was really two projects in one—the wall and ceiling–but they had to align,” added Leonard. “In the early model, when the geometry changed at one location, it created a ripple effect and changed the dimensions of all the panels.” The shop drawings detail over 300 unique panels. After approval, the panels were pre- cut and finished in Oregon. The panels were ready for install right out of the box, with labels matching per their shop drawing location, much like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
Aesthetically, the challenge was to give the theater a modern look that tied in with the existing shell, including doors and wainscoting. “The college wanted a warm finish that was faithful to the original design. Based on previous experience we liked White Maple and Hemlock,” recounted Moore. 9Wood provided a custom match per the control sample.
The end result is a space that breathes new life into the building. Architect Moore summarized, “9Wood was extremely proactive in the design development stage. The detailing was well thought-out and cohesive. We would highly recommend them to other architects, contractors, and clients.”
IBI Group, Irvine, California
Elljay Acoustics, Placentia, California
2014 CISCA Construction Excellence Award (Gold, West Region, Renovation)
Download all Data Sheets, Guide Specs, CAD Details and Acoustic Tests (if any) associated with this project.