Inside SCI-Arc


Celebration at The Wild Beast
hodgetts+fung LOS ANGELES, January 22, 2010 -- The Wild Beast, the recently completed pavilion designed by Hodgetts+Fung on the California Institute of the Arts campus, will be the site of a celebration of architecture on Feb. 4.

The evening event, which will include informal tours of the pavilion, will showcase AIA/LA and AIA/SFV Design Awards and include musical performances. Reservations should be made by Feb. 2.

CalArts students began using the 3,200 square-foot structure in the fall; it will formally open to the public with a special performance event this spring. The shape-shifting, multi-use music pavilion can transform from an acoustically refined recital hall accommodating 140 to an outdoor performance space for audiences of up to 1,000. When the front wall of The Wild Beast is open it becomes the stage for a natural amphitheater in which sound is projected from the building's curved back wall and focused by front windows that pivot to become acoustic awnings above the stage. It houses a permanent state-of-the-art 5.1 surround system.

Hodgetts+Fung drew on its experience with performing arts venues and unconventional materials to create The Wild Beast's sculptural architecture. The team's projects include the most recent renovation of the Hollywood Bowl, the 110-acre performing arts center and amphitheater for the Minnesota Orchestral Association and the temporary fabric roofed Towell Library at UCLA.

Hsinming Fung is director of graduate programs at SCI-Arc; Craig Hodgetts is a frequent lecturer and juror at the school.

"Analogs in The Wild Beast reflect the physical nature of musical instruments," said Hodgetts who was trained as a classical musician. "For instance, pieces supporting the windows are similar to gamelan keys. Sound resonates in the building as it might in the body of a cello. The design draws on the same body of thought as the physics of instrument design."

The pavilion is part of the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts. Lead donor Abby Sher explained her choice of name for the building: "The term, 'wild beast' comes from an essay by Morton Feldman about the illusive space in a work of art between surface and subject where meaning lives."

What: Celebration at The Wild Beast
When: Thursday, Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: CalArts Campus, 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, CA 91355
Reservations: Click HERE and RSVP by Feb. 2