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March 11 marked the groundbreaking celebration at the historic Beverly Hills Post Office for the new Wallis Annenberg center for the Performing Arts, designed by Studio Pali Fekete architects (SPF:a). The historic building will be restored and adapted, and the spaces that were once used for mail sorting and postage purchases will be redesigned to become a theater school, a flexible studio theater, sculpture garden, café, gift shop and more. Complimenting the historic building will be the 500-seat contemporary Goldsmith Theater. More images, a video, and architect’s description after the break. At one point, prior to SPF:a’s involvement in the project, conventional wisdom was to place the new performing arts venue within the walls of the historic post office building, and to create a small annex on the site to house the educational components of the program. SPF:a did the reverse – instead, the studio took the smaller programmatic elements such as the rehearsal hall, classrooms, and administrative offices and located them into the three level historic building, where they fit nicely and snuggly. This preserves and celebrates the historic architecture, as well as affords the Center the opportunity to create a new, state-of-the-art, flexible performing arts facility with ample back-of-house amenities. View more View full description
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