las vegas academy theater.

client. clark county school district

location. las vegas, nv

size. 40,000 sf

date. 2005

description.

The Las Vegas Academy Theater for the Performing Arts is a 750-seat multipurpose auditorium serving the Clark County School District’s magnet school for the arts. Conceived as both a teaching facility, as well as a public performance space, the project houses the academy’s technical vocation programs, drama, musical theater and orchestral departments. The project consists of two buildings, the theater and a 16,750-square-foot visual arts building and central plant.


The acoustic performance of the auditorium supports the developing voices and presence of Las Vegas Academy students. The vocal strength of the teenage spoken word informed the initial design decisions on the size and shape of the auditorium. This consideration led the design team to adopt a traditional shoebox design with side gallery seating to minimize audience distance and the overall volume of space. The proscenium arch also responds to this, as the thrust arch places performers closer to the audience providing greater projection than typical flat proscenia. While the small house was ideal for drama, it is problematic for orchestral performances, as the small volume of the house results in short reverberation times that would flatten acoustical warmth. Instead of expensive moveable building partitions to increase the building’s volume, the design team incorporated an acoustical enhancement system. This system samples onstage performances and builds a reverberant acoustic field within the auditorium. This residual sound lengthens musical notes and warms the performance.