John Adams Middle School Performing Arts Center

Community Performing Arts Hub

Extending along the public face of the John Adams Middle School campus on Pearl Street, the new Performing Arts Center establishes a strong visual identity for the school and a formal engagement with Santa Monica College. The Center, part of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and Santa Monica College, provides new performing arts educational spaces within a setting that invites the surrounding community to feel equally at home.

The openness of its design reflects the goal of creating a thriving, active hub that promotes community building around the arts and facilitates interaction between students, faculty, artists, and community. Performance and rehearsal spaces open to outdoor courtyard spaces that acknowledge the character of the existing campus and take advantage of the temperate climate to create flexible spaces for informal gathering. In addition to serving its host campus, the Center supports Santa Monica College as a venue for its arts and educational programming, strengthening the relationship between the two schools. The design integrates the needs of both college and middle school, resulting in an inspiring incubator for students to explore and develop their artistic voices.

The Center features a state-of-the-art 750-seat auditorium tailored to meet the needs of school’s notable music program. The auditorium’s acoustic design accommodates a variety of ensemble performance within a cost-efficient configuration that also supports a range of theatrical presentation. This flexibility is achieved through the integration of a Meyer Sound electronic acoustic system, enabling the auditorium to have a lower physical profile and smaller footprint than would otherwise be possible utilizing a traditional passive design approach. A large flexible rehearsal space complements the auditorium, supporting music and dance as well as hosting community events and classroom functions. Practice rooms, dedicated classrooms, offices, and libraries for orchestra, band and choir classes round out the program.


Santa Monica, CA

Building Type

Performing Arts


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