The design for the new Julianne and George Argyros Plaza at Segerstrom Center for the Arts reimagines an existing outdoor arts plaza. As a new welcoming and vibrant public gathering place, it offers an array of innovative visitor experiences and guest amenities.


Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County is a regional arts center with four world-class performance venues for dance, music, and theater. An expansive, yet underutilized public plaza lies at the center of the existing 14-acre campus. Michael Maltzan Architecture was invited to create a new vision for the Center’s public spaces that is both programmatically flexible and architecturally inviting.

The design of the new Argyros Plaza is anchored by a large open public space and a multi-purpose community stage, balanced by three intimate green spaces: a Plaza Arrival Court, a Theater Grove, and Community Picnic Grove. The areas offer shaded seating amongst curvilinear benching with integrating plantings and provide 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 campus. 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 food and refreshments. The plaza will also integrate technological amenities including free Wi-Fi and enhanced performance lighting and sound, whereby visitors can enjoy a vast range of free programming and events more than thirty weekends a year.

The Argyros Plaza is only one of multiple initiatives that will complement and enhance Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ commitment to providing 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, includes an entryway that will be accessible by a public garden-like arrival area and a second, curved ramp from the Segerstrom Hall terrace.

LOCATION / Costa Mesa, California
TYPE / Arts plaza
SIZE / 1.6 acres
STATUS / Construction Start January 2017
ROLE / Design Architect & Architect of Record