AN has been covering Hodgetts + Fung‘s efforts to update Los Angeles’ Norms Diner for the 21st century, but another of the firm’s projects will rigorously update a less known—and perhaps more impressive—modernist structure nearby: Culver City High School’s Frost Memorial Auditorium in Culver City.
Rendering of Hodgetts & Fung’s renovated auditorium interior. (Hodgetts & Fung)
Originally designed by local architects Flewelling & Moody, the building has one of the most ambitious structural concrete domes in the city. Each rib was cast in place on a sculpted mound of earth, lifted into position, then joined to other ribs via another concrete pour.
Hodgetts & Fung is expanding the building’s cramped back-of-house spaces, installing new air conditioning, lighting, and electrical systems, providing handicap access, and adding a new steel-plated proscenium arch to better facilitate theatrical programs. They’re also installing a new black box theater in back of the space.(Julius Shulman/ Getty Research Institute)
“It was never designed to be a production theater, it was designed to be an auditorium,” said Craig Hodgetts. “While it was a great building, the shell inhibited them from doing the things that would have made it more useful… It had really good bones, but from a functional standpoint it was really lame,” Hodgetts added. The new project will be complete by early next year.(Julius Shulman/ Getty Research Institute) (Julius Shulman/ Getty Research Institute) Rendering of new space (Hodgetts + Fung) Rendering of new steel proscenium (Hodgetts + Fung) (Julius Shulman/ Getty Research Institute)