Tour: CalShakes

Saturday, June 9
$5 AIA East Bay Members/$10 Non-members
Space is limited, click here to register.

California Shakespeare Theater (CalShakes)
Orinda, CA
Architect: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

Photographer: Bruce Damonte Photography

The new Sharon Simpson Center supports the artists, artisans and patrons of the California Shakespeare Theater.  Phase One of a two-phase project, the Sharon Simpson Center was based on environmental stewardship, inspired by the landscape and influenced by the innovative theater productions, marrying site, program and architecture.

The design challenge of the new building was to add onto a beloved amphitheater and maintain the wild beauty of the site.  The Sharon Simpson Center aspires to achieve two overarching design goals: to preserve what’s incredible about the Siesta Valley while simultaneously transforming the way people experience it.  The design solution removed 18 years of temporary trailers, various site structures and paths that detracted from the primary mission- a theater in nature.  To reduce its impact on the patron experience the design solution utilizes the opportunities of the sloping site, and allows for tucking the theater’s technical functions and shops under the building.  A reshaped sloping meadow for picnicking, community plaza and Sharon Simpson Center synthesize the design into one single site and architectural move: a new work, positioned as secondary to the primary experience of theater en plein air.

Jury Comments:  The challenge was to capture the outdoor theater experience without overdoing it. The programming for this upgrade certainly accomplished that, creating a friendly, fun environment.

Learning Objectives:

1. Attendees will be able to state the client’s two design goals and how the architect met them.

2. Attendees will be able to identify three key elements of the programming.

3. Attendees will be able to identify three sustainable or green features.

4. Attendees will be able to discuss how the site play an integral part in the design solution.

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