It has been planned for at least five years and under construction since January. Now the Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ long-awaited new plaza finally has an opening date: Oct. 28. And Center officials have just revealed that the substantially renovated open-air space between the performing arts center’s two main venues will be graced by a welcoming new centerpiece, a 60-foot-diameter fountain whose arcing jets of water artfully imitate the curved portal of Segerstrom Hall and the undulating glass façade of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.
Designed by Los Angeles architect Michael Maltzan, the 54,750-square-foot space will be called the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza. The well-known Orange County philanthropist and his wife gave a $13.5 million lead gift to the project, and the couple later made an additional $1.5 million contribution to help fund the 24-foot-high fountain, which will occupy the center of the traffic circle in front of Segerstrom Hall. The fountain will rise from a reflecting pool with an infinity edge. At night, it will be illuminated with LED lights that can produce any color.
“We have these two spectacular halls and now a really beautiful community plaza. We and the architect and the Argyroses all were inspired by the idea of completing the picture,” said Terry Dwyer, president of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. “The fountain will be the first sign that you’re arriving at a dynamic arts campus.”
Dwyer will introduce the public to the fountain and other new plaza features on Monday before the Segerstrom Center’s weekly outdoor Movie Monday showing, which this season was moved slightly to accommodate all the construction on the plaza. A three-minute video that includes a virtual tour of the new space will be screened as well.
Argyros Plaza is part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ $73.5-million Next Act Campaign, launched in 2015. About $54 million is earmarked to pay off debt on existing spaces, including the concert hall, which opened in 2006. The remaining funds will pay for new construction and programs. $50.5 million has been raised so far.
The new plaza will include two green zones, an outdoor cafe, a circular grand staircase…