Chapman University – Sandi Simon Center for Dance

Location: Orange, CA
Architect: Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
Products: CDC Series Actuators and RS4 Control Panels
Glazing Co: Architectural Glass Systems

About the Project
The Sandi Simon Center for Dance is an expansive new education and performing arts center at Chapman University that redefines a former orange packing house. Landmarked by the National Register of Historic Places, LOHA’s adaptive reuse strategy preserves the exterior identity while opening the interior structure with a calculated cut through the original floor, allowing for a reorganization into three levels and forming a new circulation through the space.

The design approach of opening the former floor of the 1918 orange packing building allows light to permeate from the historic sawtooth roof—with its north-facing clerestory windows–to all levels of the Dance Center. This innovative strategy preserves the exterior identity of the culturally and historically significant shell while amplifying the beautiful features of the interior.

Enormous historic trusses were left exposed and rendered at once lofty by the view from the lowest level and tangible from the proximity to them at the mezzanine; and historic, operable clerestory windows have been retrofit with CDC Series actuators to open and expel heat when triggered by the mechanical system.