University of California San Diego Conrad Prebys Music Center

La Jolla, California

Project Size:

85,000 square feetSeating capacity: 400 concert / 150 recital / 200 experimental seats

Project Status:

Completed 2009


Arts + Culture, Education Design, Interior Design


In the Zone: Performers Will Find a Perfect Place to Play at UCSD's new Conrad Prebys Music Center, 05/01/2009

UC San Diego's New Music Center Design Combines Acoustic Performance with Striking Visuals

AIArchitect, 02/08/2008

UCSD Music Center Strikes the Right Chord

ArchiTech Magazine, 12/01/2007

Sounds Like Home: Conrad Prebys Music Building, University of California, San Diego

San Diego Union Tribune, 10/01/2006

Selected Awards

2010 San Diego Architecture Foundation

Orchids & Onions Award, Grand Orchid

2009 AIA Seattle Chapter

Commendation Award

2009 McGraw-Hill Construction Publishing

Best Higher Education/Research Facility in Southern California

Situated within the active campus core and its Arts District, the design advances the goals of the campus “neighborhood plan” by integrating public space, campus circulation and landscape with the school’s highly interactive social dynamic. Courtyards and arcades capitalize on the mild climate.

The interior of the 400-seat concert hall is an asymmetrical system of triangular surfaces, carefully calibrated in collaboration with renowned acoustician Dr. Cyril Harris at every angle to optimize acoustical performance. The distinctive geometric form was generated from iterative experimentation and analysis that melds architecture, technical building systems and the science of sound in an integrated design process. The result is an extremely intimate hall that embodies the program’s ambitious, innovative culture of music.

A 150-seat experimental lab is focused on “virtual” electronic acoustics, where musicians employ sophisticated audio systems and manipulate the sound environment to create their own sonic architecture. Other rehearsal and ensemble halls are designed with adjustable acoustics to accommodate a wide range of performance types, and the facility features the newest technologies in student recording suites, computer music labs, practice rooms and faculty studios.