Skirball Cultural Center
Los Angeles, CA

Since 1996, the Skirball Cultural Center has welcomed over two million visitors to its exhibitions and programs. The Skirball campus features a world-class interactive museum, children's discovery center, learning resource center, conference center, classrooms, auditoriums, outdoor courtyards, and a communal hall and performing arts center.

Every week the Cultural Center is host to a diverse range of music, theater, dance, and other performing arts events, films, family programs, and distinguished speakers from all over the world. Its architecture, admired for its intimate scale and sensitivity to the surrounding natural environment of the Santa Monica Mountains, has contributed to its success as an oasis in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles. Skirball opened the new Ahmanson Hall, allowing for expanded public programming, and serving as a state-of-the-art facility for the performing arts, conferences, symposia, and special events. Construction has begun on The Winnick American Family Heritage Hall, designed to expand the changing exhibition and children's galleries of the Museum. With the completion of this phase, the Skirball Cultural Center--on 15 acres, with 450,000 square feet of built space--will become the largest Jewish cultural center in North America.

Skirball Cultural Center

The addition to the center includes a new 30,000 sq. ft. north building housing the 6,000 square feet multi-purpose Ahmanson Hall with a surrounding garden. The Hall is designed with the flexibility to accommodate a banquet for 400 to 500 people or a lecture or music event with a seating capacity of 800. Events in the hall can extend into the garden through the glazed, double height west facing wall which curves 180 degrees from north to south and opens to the garden. The great hall has specially designed mechanical systems providing the perimeter with separate zones for local control. Also included in the addition are a 1,700 square feet mezzanine level, a 1,300 square feet pre-function space and support spaces consisting of a server kitchen, bathrooms, office space, and storage and equipment rooms. To address budget concerns, Syska Hennessy Group were able to utilize existing utility systems from the main campus to supply the new addition, and included a highly efficient electrical system that would also provide for future expansion of two other planned buildings.

The Skirball Cultural Center is the translation of a dream into a living reality. The dream: outreach by a Jewish institution to American society as a whole. The living reality: vibrant exhibitions, concerts, lectures, films, and thriving education programs that engage the parallel values of Jewish and American experience.


450,000 sf