Established by a grant from the Herb Alpert Foundation, The Herb Alpert School of Music on the UCLA campus is dedicated to providing students with academic opportunities that balance cutting-edge scholarship with sophisticated performance and composition mastery. Students are immersed in a multitude of learning and performing opportunities and have access to world-class archives and related study options. The missing link to this extraordinary musical education experience was a live performance venue with acoustic properties devised to provide artists with exceptional sound alternatives.
To meet this critical requirement, The Herb Alpert Foundation engaged WSDG to fully re-design the interior and acoustics for a small 50-year-old theater on-campus theater. The recently completed venue has been christened Lani Hall in honor of Grammy-winning vocalist (and co-founder with husband Herb Alpert of the foundation which bears his name) accommodates both musical and theatrical presentations. The 135 seat auditorium features a raised stage, innovative perforated wood rear and sidewall acoustic treatments and three innovative, full-width cylindrical ceiling treatments deployed above the stage. Outfitted with six multi-positional perforated gobos to provide the variable acoustics required by diverse performing artists and instrumentalists, the stage offers classic performance options.
Matthew Ballos, WSDG partner and co-designer of Lani Hall with founding partner John Storyk, reports that the tubular overhead wooden stage treatments, are complimented by twin ‘rounded’ wooden ceiling cloud/lighting fixtures, positioned over the audience seats, to further enhance listener audio quality. An elegant, cantilevered wooden rear wall diffuser fine-tunes the theater into an auditorium-size ‘sweet spot.’ A 400sf multipurpose rehearsal room with a raised platform for performance and training purposes is fashioned in the style of a pro recording studio ‘live room,’ with acoustic wall treatments and a ceiling-mounted screen for potential film score recording to picture projects. And, an orchestra-sized practice room with semi-circular, multi-level, raised staging platforms, professional ceiling clouds and wall mounted acoustic treatments provides a spacious environment for full ensemble rehearsals.
Photography by Juan Tallo.