Building Our Future
A New Home For Music and Dance in the Heart of Los Angeles

The Colburn School is building a transformational new addition to our downtown Los Angeles campus. Born out of our aspiration to serve both the community and the School, the state-of-the-art performance venues and learning spaces will spark collaboration and interdisciplinary educational partnerships all across the region.

We are thrilled to announce that we will be breaking ground on the Frank Gehry-designed Colburn Center, a 100,000 square foot expansion adjacent to Colburn’s current campus in Downtown Los Angeles. Site work is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks and a groundbreaking ceremony and celebration will take place on April 5, 2024.

Read the LA Times article

Frank Gehry has observed that this project will truly transform Downtown Los Angeles well beyond the original master plan that he prepared for the city almost two decades ago. Once complete, the Colburn Center will create the largest concentration of cultural buildings by the renowned architect anywhere in the world.

Imagine, with us, the next generation of the performing arts in Los Angeles.


Facilities Matter

The Colburn School has a proud history of investing in exceptional educational facilities and performance spaces to serve the needs of its students and audiences. The campus expansion will fulfill the long-held dream of a large venue for orchestra, dance, opera, and more.

The School’s new Colburn Center will include:

  • Terri and Jerry Kohl Hall, an extraordinary, intimate, and accessible concert hall worthy of the artists who call Los Angeles home and those who come to visit.
  • Sophisticated convertible 100-seat dance studio theater where young ballet dancers can propel themselves from practice through performance to a professional career in a path individualized just for them.
  • Spacious ballet and tap studios where students and artists can grow to their fullest potential.
  • A study center where young dancers can place themselves in the context of history to embody the artistry of those who came before, and develop their own expressive voice.
  • Public spaces for convening, socializing, and absorbing the power of performing arts.
  • Uplifting green spaces that bring fresh air and a fresh perspective to the downtown landscape.
  • State-of-the-art, affordable performance spaces to welcome artists, organizations, and audiences who have historically not had access to such spaces.

Terri and Jerry Kohl Hall will be a unique performance venue, the only one of its size in Downtown Los Angeles. It will serve the broader performing arts community, with a special focus on smaller to mid-sized organizations. Presenters who have not historically had access to such venues will be supported through a fund specifically designed to help underwrite rentals of the 1,000-seat concert hall. Importantly, these spaces will also serve Colburn’s expansive network of community engagement initiatives that do not have adequate venues for their performances.

Kohl Hall will offer flexible configurations for full orchestra, opera, and musical theater performances of the grandest scales and largest orchestrations, as well as amplified options and a transformable stage floor for dance. Despite grand capabilities, it is designed to be a uniquely intimate experience for audiences, who will surround the artists with in-the-round seating and very close proximity to the stage edge during performances. Kohl Hall will become the permanent home of the Colburn Orchestra, the flagship ensemble of the Conservatory of Music.

Uplifting Green Spaces

Plans for the project include garden spaces at the ground level and a rooftop garden atop the dance school’s studio theater. These gardens aim to contribute to downtown Los Angeles’s greening and will welcome students, parents, and visitors to gather and find respite in this outdoor environment.

Revealing the Power of Dance Education

Transparent walls of four oversized dance studios on the corner of 2nd and Hill streets provide a window into the beauty and hard work of dance training. The studio theater—the largest dance studio in the School—is located adjacent to the main lobby of the concert hall and is equipped to be used as a professional-level performance venue as well as a rehearsal studio. Seating platforms in the studio theater offer approximately 100 seats while allowing for 30 feet of stage depth with scrims, and a cross-over lighting grid will allow refined lighting design for performance. These greatly expanded dance facilities will accommodate the School’s growing programs in classical ballet, tap, and modern dance.

View a timelapse showing the planned construction of the Colburn Center

Meet the Design Team

To bring the School’s vision into reality, we have partnered with a stellar design team comprised of Los Angeles-based professionals who are experts in their field.

Frank O. Gehry, the world-renowned Founder and Principal of Gehry Partners, leads an all-star, all-LA design team for Colburn, including:

Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics, the acoustician for Walt Disney Concert Hall, Conrad Prebys Hall, La Seine Musicale, Elbphilharmonie, Ann and Jerry Moss Theater, Mariinsky Concert Hall, Suntory Hall, and many more.

Michael Ferguson of TheatreDNA, who, as a member of Theatre Projects, consulted on the New World Center in Miami, Theater for a New Audience in Brooklyn, Musco Center for the Arts, Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica, New School’s Westbeth Theater, Corning Glass Museum, and many more.

Fred Vogler, Grammy award-winning sound engineer for the Hollywood Bowl, LA Opera, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, numerous Hollywood films, and consultant on concert halls and university facilities around the world.

OLIN creates distinguished landscapes and urban designs worldwide. Their celebrated work includes Bryant Park, Canary Wharf, Battery Park City, the J. Paul Getty Center, 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, D.C. and the Barnes Foundation.

Ways to Get Involved

Momentum is building on this transformative project, and we are grateful for the visionary donors that are bringing it to life—but success depends on participation at every level! Join us in building the future of performing arts in Los Angeles through founders’ circle membership, building naming opportunities, endowment support and program underwriting, groundbreaking sponsorship, seat naming, and many more!

Be a part of this important development in Southern California’s future. Contact our Philanthropy Office at philanthropy@colburnschool.edu to learn more about current giving opportunities.

In the News

The latest coverage of Frank Gehry and the Colburn School

Symphony Magazine
Building Boom, Part 2
“The Colburn School’s expansive new campus will be built near the school’s existing campus in the civic center of Los Angeles, an area formerly dominated by government buildings that has become walkable, even hip thanks to Colburn and the arrival of apartment towers, outdoor markets, and street life. The draw? The performing arts.”

Time Magazine
How Frank Gehry Changed Buildings—and Cities—Forever
“Gehry is now regarded as the most significant North American architect of his era, and perhaps the most celebrated living architect in the world. He has buildings on almost every continent, and shows no sign of stopping.”

Read additional coverage of the Colburn Center