The Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Courtesy Ema Peter / Steve Lerum.
Thornton Tomasetti provided structural engineering services for a four-story, 55,000-square-foot, academic dance center that focuses on dance education and performing arts. Named after philanthropist and founder Glorya Kaufman, the Collegiate-Gothic inspired building includes a 3,600-square-foot performance theater, five dance studios, a dance wellness center, dressing rooms, classrooms and office space.
As students move throughout the third-floor dance studios, a challenge was mitigating the vibrations between the floor of a studio and the ceiling of a space below. By using suspended concrete slabs with additional isolated lift slabs beneath each dance studio, Thornton Tomasetti designed a solution that accommodates the aerobic vibrations. The long-span floors, some reaching upward of 42 feet, required additional stiffness and increased mass compared to requirements for more sedentary occupancies. Concrete perimeter walls support concrete slabs and beams while steel framing supports a mansard roof. The performance theater includes retractable seating with catwalks supported by a tension grid system from the second-floor framing.
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