Located within the heart of the Village of La Jolla, CA, the new performing arts center for La Jolla Music Society is designed as a world-class destination, supporting the continued growth of the Society’s high-level music and dance performance offerings and expanding opportunities for educational programing. The facility will contain a 513-seat concert hall, a 116-seat flexible use space, a modest rehearsal room, a donor room, and administrative offices organized around an outdoor courtyard lobby.

Growing out of a planning process and a series of onsite workshops, the facility is organized as an intimate composition of smaller structures around a clearly defined central and semi-public courtyard, maintaining the traditional building scale of the Village. The presentation of the Performing Arts Center on the streets of La Jolla is appropriately and proudly civic, distinct from its more commercially-oriented neighbors.

 
Impeccable elegance are the words that may be used to describe the gala grand opening weekend of The Conrad, the La Jolla Music Society’s new musical and cultural center bringing heart and soul to the center of the storied village. The highest quality—due to architecture, sound design and musical performance–was exactly what was on offer in the courtyard and inside the magnificent new Baker-Baum Concert Hall of The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center on Friday night and throughout the weekend.
— Barry Jagoda, Times of San Diego

Opening Weekend

But, really, the star of the show was the venue . . . a collaboration between Epstein Joslin Architects and Yasuhisa Toyota . . . Each component exudes a quiet elegance. But the Baker-Baum Concert Hall’s sleek lines, impeccable attention to detail and fuss-free aesthetics are especially impressive, underscoring Toyota’s recent observation that: ‘We are hearing the acoustics not only with our ears, but with our eyes.’
— George Varga, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Image copyright: EJA(1,4,11,14-16), Douglas Gates (2,3,5-10,12,13)

Diagrams

‘Jewel box’ is a term often used to describe theaters or concert halls of modest size and exquisite design. Usually, they are also well over a century old, but a new concert hall that recently opened in La Jolla, California, is also worthy of the term. The Baker-Baum Concert Hall is the main performance space in the inviting Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center . . . Intended for chamber music . . . it was designed by a team of acousticians (Nagata Acoustics) and architects (Epstein Joslin Architects) known for grander projects, and it melds acoustical excellence with audience friendliness.
— George Loomis, The New Criterion

Design Renderings

Congratulations and deepest thanks from all of us at LJMS for designing our beautiful new performing arts center . . . [and] partnering with us to take our dream and turn it into a spectacular and stunning reality.

The Conrad shone like the finely crafted jewel that it is . . . a performing arts center that will soon be nationally, and, dare I say, internationally known. It was sheer pleasure and wonder to see the how the Baker-Baum Concert Hall, the JAI and the majestic courtyard were each utilized brilliantly and differently each night to showcase their capabilities. It was clear that every detail was thoughtfully planned and the results were all the high notes . . . a legacy to be very proud of.
— Katherine Chapin, Board Chair, La Jolla Music Society

Interview with EJA

Construction Process

You were all masterful in working with the different sensitivities of staff and Board members and most especially with our major donors . . . what stands out most to me is the way you were somehow able to listen to so many disparate ideas and then include (as incredible as it seems to me) all of them in your [resulting design]. It reminds me of that culinary television program where the featured guest is given four ingredients by the audience and must then find a way to make magic out of peanut butter, sirloin steak, pineapple, and avocado . . . and you all certainly did.
— Christopher Beach, President and Artistic Director, La Jolla Music Society

Project Data

STATUS: Completed 2019

SIZE: 49,000 sf

COST: $42 million

Project Credits

OWNER: La Jolla Music Society, La Jolla, CA

CONTRACTOR: DPR Construction

ARCHITECT: Epstein Joslin Architects

ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT: Joseph Wong Design Associates

ACOUSTICIAN: Nagata Acoustics

THEATER: Theatre Consultants Collaborative

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Burton Landscape Architecture Studio

CIVIL/STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Burkett & Wong Engineers

MEP: Syska Hennessy Group

IMAGE COPYRIGHT: Opening photos, Douglas Gates, EJA; Diagrams, EJA; Design renderings, Dennis Allain