frank gehry designs new center for young performing artists at LA's colburn school

frank gehry designs new center for young performing artists at LA's colburn school

a frank gehry-designed school for young artists in los angeles


the colburn school, one of the world’s leading schools for music and dance, will embark on an ambitious expansion project with frank gehry. the team has today unveiled the design of the colburn center, a 100,000 square-foot campus expansion in the downtown los angeles. the artistic community of los angeles will bring to life the new 1,000 seat concert hall and a 100-seat theater.


the new colburn center will inspire and serve the young performing artists across LA. with a prominent position across the street from the school’s existing campus, the new project will stand as an important addition to the cultural corridor which includes gehry partners’ walt disney concert hall, the music center, the museum of contemporary art, and the diller scofidio + renfro-designed broad.


after raising an astounding $270 million out of a $350 million goal, work on the project is expected to break ground in 2023.

frank gehry colburn school
view from hill street west towards dance school entrance | image © gehry partners



a hall for all


designed by frank gehry (see more), the colburn center at the colburn school (see more) will be a ‘hall for all,’ giving artists and students a place to shine. the center will stand at the crossroads of culture, education, and landmark architecture — marking frank gehry’s third project within three blocks to become the world’s greatest concentration of his architecture.


the colburn school welcomes over 2,000 students from across los angeles and around the world, with ages ranging from seven months to adult. the new 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. it will also provide much needed performance space in a mid-sized hall for the region’s established and emerging performing arts organizations.

frank gehry colburn school
new urban plaza to be created at the entrance to the concert hall | image © gehry partners



the 1,000 seat theater, ‘terri and jerry kohl hall’


frank gehry’s colburn center will welcome students and audiences alike, with a dynamic composition of transparent and opaque interlocking blocks that step down into the natural contour of the site. a 1,000-seat concert hall uses an in-the-round design to create intimacy between the performers and the audience and removes the stage lip, putting front-row seats at eye-level with the performers. orchestra, opera, dance, and musical theater will all be at home in the hall, which is equipped with an orchestra pit and a stage large enough to accommodate the grandest works and the largest orchestrations.

frank gehry colburn school
view from hill street and 2nd street intersection.



the theater and dance studios


four professional-sized dance studios and a 100-seat flexible studio theater are enveloped in glass and provide a literal window into the beauty and rigor of dance training and performance. with a separate entrance and distinct architectural character, the light-filled dance facilities will have their own identity while harmonizing with the larger project.


the colburn center will be equipped to take a modern approach to multi-media technology and production. the facilities include commercial-quality recording and streaming capabilities, and performance spaces will be outfitted with state-of-the-art lighting. public spaces include an outdoor plaza, giving visitors a front-row seat to the performing arts, and gardens which provide much-needed green space and pedestrian access to nearby public transit hubs.frank gehry colburn school
inside the 1,000-seat terri and jerry kohl hall | image © gehry partners



colburn president sel kardan comments:with great joy and excitement, we share the design of frank gehry’s multi-dimensional project, which will welcome our students, performing artists, and audiences from across los angeles.


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.


we look forward to collaborating with our artistic partners in terri and jerry kohl hall, which complements the other stellar performance spaces in downtown los angeles.’

frank gehry designs new center for young performing artists at LA's colburn schoolinside the 100-seat studio theater | image © gehry partners


aerial view of the colburn center


physical model
physical model
physical model
physical model
section cut of the 1,000-seat concert hall
section cut of the 1,000-seat concert hall
section cut of the 1,000-seat concert hall
section cut of the 1,000-seat concert hall

project info:


project title: the colburn center at the colburn school 

architecture: gehry partners LLP | @frankgehry_official

location: downtown los angeles, california

status: expected to break ground 2023

suscribe on designboom
- see sample
- see sample
suscribe on designboom






a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999