Armed with ambitious architectural plans for an 11-acre campus, supporters of a performing arts venue in Anaheim are ready to tackle the next big challenge: raising hundreds of millions of dollars to build it.
The design, commissioned by the Anaheim Performing Arts Center Foundation, features three theaters, a small art museum, a restaurant and space for education, conventions and offices, all on land just north of Angel Stadium.
At about 700,000 square feet, the multi-use center would be among the world’s largest, said Howard Knohl, a retired radiologist and art collector who heads the foundation’s board of directors.
“All my life in Anaheim, 40 years here, I’ve never had anything I could say I was really proud of,” he said – until now.
“It’s going to be absolutely stunning if we ever build it.”
The plans for the center, created by Los Angeles firm Studio Pali Fekete architects, are the culmination of a decade of effort by Knohl and others who hope to give Anaheim its own world-class performing arts center.
Work began in earnest about a year ago, when the City Council agreed to give the foundation four years to raise $50 million, an amount settled on before there was a design for the center. The land where the arts center would go is owned by the city and now houses The Grove, which would eventually be demolished if the center is built.
The firm that designed the center, Studio Pali Fekete, renovated and expanded the Getty Villa, provided supporting material for the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall and has worked on a number of other Southern California landmarks.
Zoltan Pali, one of the firm’s founders, said he wove elements of the city’s history into the design, including Native American settlements, ranching and citrus farming. Round buildings have openings in the roof to let in light, mimicking a tree canopy; and the campus’ overall design is laid out in a pattern of recurring circles – meant to recall the rings in a tree stump, he said.
“As you come to this place, it’s not just a performing arts center, it’s kind of a cultural center, (so) it will sort of memorialize all these things that occurred,” Pali said.
The outer layer – or, as Pali called it, the “skin” – of the buildings will be metallic, in shades of bronze, copper and silver, and dimpled like the skin of an orange.
A performance hall, orchestra hall and black box theater would be the center’s main venues,…