Wild Beast Music Pavilion
California Institute of the Arts
24700 McBean Parkway
Valencia, Ca 91355
Built: 2007 – 2009
Design Architect: Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture
Structural Engineer: Thornton-Tomasetti / Bruce Gibbons
Mechanical Engineer: IBE / Alan Locke
Electrical Engineer: Lucci and Associates
Civil Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers / Brian LaFranchi
Acoustical: McKay Conant Brook, Inc. / David Conant
Bottega Management Group/ Leonard Madson Contractor(s)
HWI- Hinerfeld-Ward, Inc.
The core section is expressed by a curved, three-dimensional arrangement, which, much like the soundboard for a stringed instrument, forms the principle assembly as well as an acoustically suitable space:
The building takes its name from a quote from an essay by contemporary composer Morton Feldman: “I am interested in how the wild beast lives in the jungle, not in the zoo.” This idea is captured in an early conceptual sketch:
According to architect Craig Hodgetts, “The engineering challenge was to convey a lyrical light-weight quality while using cement and steel [and] to determine the most efficient skeletal form.” The front wall can be rolled open to become the stage for a natural amphitheater:
The resonant interior is supplemented by a series of adaptable windowpanes set to create a clerestory, which can be used for “tuning:”
The open-air pavilion’s performance stage is situated in an isolated clearing which provides the courtyard space for casual seating:
The pavilion encloses 2,000 square feet of space including a classroom area. Aside from the interesting structural shape, other mechanical systems in the building include 60-foot-wide hangar doors. Additionally, there is an earth berm on two sides of the pavilion, requiring retention of up to seven feet of dirt:
(1) Bratton, D., Hodgetts+Fung. Architectural Design, 75: 107–114. doi: 10.1002/ad.147.
(2) Beaver, Robyn., Contemporary Architecture, Vol. 1, Images Publishing Dist A/C, p. 246.