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Performance Arts Center, Napa Valley College

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dmadsen, hanley wood, llc

Project Name

Performance Arts Center, Napa Valley College


2277 Napa Vallejo Hwy

Project Status



Napa Valley College


  • General Contractor: Broward Construction
  • Lighting Designer: Tao Ham, HGA
  • Structural Engineer: Forell/Elsesser Engineers
  • Civil Engineer: Sandis
  • Civil Engineer: Chardhary & Associates
  • Electrical Engineer: Timmons Design Engineers
  • Electrical Engineer: O’Mahoney & Myer
  • : Timmons Design Engineers
  • Acoustic Dimensions
  • Auerbach Pollack and Friedlander
  • Edgett Williamson Consulting Group
  • Kate Keating Associates
  • Construction Manager: Steve Perls
  • Landscape Architect: Quadriga



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Project Description

Napa Valley College sits in the center of Napa Valley, south of town, with beautiful views east, west and north, up the valley. The college is part of the California Community College System and was founded in 1942, with the present campus opening in 1965. A bonding bill passed in 2002 allowed the first campus expansion since the 1970s. These funds were committed to building two structures that would anchor both ends of campus, a library to the south and a new performance center to the north. The Napa Valley Performance Center was sited at the north edge of campus to take advantage of the beautiful views of the Napa Valley range. New road entries were created to enhance access to the campus in particular to the new Performance Center. The building completes the campus north edge with a prominent glowing lobby visible to the surrounding community. The College stretches north to south, with a main pedestrian axis which is paralleled by a vehicular route and its adjacent parking to the east. The Performance Center completes the north pedestrian axis with an academic entrance on the west and the performance lobby entrance at the end of the vehicular road and parking to the southeast. The loading dock sits between the two entrances in a screened service courtyard. All spaces support the academic program. The glass lobby serves the three main performance stages: the Main Stage, the Choral Recital/Rehearsal Room, and a Studio Theater. The Main Stage has 350 seats with an upper gallery, a modified proscenium stage and orchestra pit. As a teaching space, the performance hall celebrates the technical aspect of a theatrical experience and is easily adaptable for student teaching. The Choral Recital / Rehearsal Room seats 60. The Studio Theater is a traditional black box design with full flexibility and audience seating for 150. The Theater Department programmatic spaces work around the loading dock/scene studio space to the south. These spaces include costume studio, dressing rooms and a movement studio. The scene studio serves both stages and accommodates classes. The Music Department is located on the north edge where spaces can celebrate the views and be acoustically isolated from the loading dock traffic. These spaces include practice rooms and rehearsal studios specifically designed for particular acoustic disciplines. Offices for all staff are clustered together between the two departments on the west. Site cast concrete walls create a rhythm that radiates out from the large mass of the fly tower and Main Stage audience space. The Main Stage creates the core of the plan. The rhythmic concrete walls run east to west articulating the massing and creating an outer visual skeleton. Lighter infill walls of glass, metal and wood panels to provide north light to the lobby and to music practice spaces. The lighter materials continue inside as finishes for the major interior spaces.
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