14 June 2012

Architecture Thursday: Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Two weeks ago, I was treated to a tour of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. There are few things I appreciate about a city more than an obvious commitment to the arts, and Costa Mesa has that commitment in spades.

The Segerstom Center for the Arts is a campus of buildings dedicated to the best humanity has to offer. The theater and original hall were spectacular of course, but it was the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall that impressed me the most.

©RMA Photography Inc. - 714.259.1332

Lord knows I love a curtain wall, but to see a glass curtain wall made from undulating glass was something I never thought was possible.

The concert hall opened on September 15, 2006 and the architect was Cesar Pelli from Pelli, Clark, Pelli and Associates in New Haven, CT.

Once inside, the building continued to amaze. Here are some photos from the lobby and grand staircase.

©RMA Photography Inc. - 714.259.1332

Looking up at the lobby ceiling. 
©RMA Photography Inc. - 714.259.1332

The docents who led the tour kept saying that the acoustics inside the auditorium were spectacular and part of me thought that no building this grand could have as great a concert hall in it as the docents claimed. I was wrong. Here's looking at the main stage.

©RMA Photography Inc. - 714.259.1332

And here's the view from the stage toward the back of the house.

©Doug Gifford Photography

When we were touring the Concert Hall, we were fortunate to stumble upon a children's concert being performed by the Pacific Symphony and yes, the acoustics are every bit as perfect as the docents claimed.

Our small group stood in one of the upper tiers and just let the music wash over us. Nothing affects me the way a symphony orchestra does. Nothing. Standing in a truly grand concert hall while that orchestra's performing is my idea of heaven on earth.

If you live in Orange County, consider yourself to be fortunate indeed. In a time when arts organizations all over the world are facing threats like extinction, it was beyond affirming to see that the opposite is happening in Costa Mesa.

Thank you again goes to Blanco and Bosch, you sure know how to show a guy a good time, especially when my definition of a good time revolves around classical music.

If you live anywhere near Costa Mesa, buy tickets and go see some performances. Here's the link to the Segerstom Center for the Arts website. Go!


  1. Nice write up, Paul. I, for one, really appreciate these little side trips. They are always food for creativity.

  2. Boy I'll say. Wasn't that a great way to spend a Thursday morning?


Talk to me!