Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, California debuted MMA’s design for the new Julianne and George Argyros Plaza this week.  The project reimagines the Center’s existing outdoor Arts Plaza as a welcoming public gathering place offering an array of visitor experiences and guest amenities.

The plaza is anchored by a large open public space and a multi-purpose community stage, balanced by three more intimate green spaces:  a Plaza Entry Grove, an Amphitheater Grove, and a Community Picnic Grove.  The groves offer shaded seating and meandering pedestrian paths.  A visually striking grand staircase connects Segerstrom Hall to the plaza level below.  The circular geometry of the stair complements the Center’s signature architecture and creates an equally distinctive element that enhances pedestrian connections across the complex.  Upon exiting the theater, a new observation terrace at the mezzanine level encircles an open air seating lounge.  At the base of the stair, a café with relaxed outdoor seating at the ground level provides refreshments, beverages, and food.

For more than thirty weekends a year, a vast range of free programming and events will be presented on the plaza, including shows by Southern California bands, family- friendly concerts, a jazz series, films, and performances and events that highlight local artists and cultural organizations.  The plaza will also integrate technology amenities that include free Wi-Fi and enhanced performance lighting and sound.

 The new plaza is one of the three key initiatives announced today that will complement and enhance Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ ambitious annual seasons of world-class performances in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Hall, Samueli Theater, and the Judy Morr Theater.  The new Center for Dance and Innovation (CDI), also designed by MMA, will be accessible by a gardenlike entryway, and a second curved ramp from the Segerstrom Hall terrace, as well as by a new public patio.

Construction will begin on the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza and the Center for Dance and Innovation in early 2016, and is expected to be completed in the fall of the same year.