USC Brain and Creativity Institute

Opening Year 2012
Location Los Angeles, California, USA
Capacity 100 seats
Architect Perkins+Will
Owner University of Southern California

The BCI new building project was completed in 2012 and includes a new chamber hall adjacent to the existing neuroscience research facilities which already draw experts from across the globe. In the new hall, they are continuing their ambitious attempt to try to understand the link between brain science and art. The space of just over 100 seats named Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall is designed not only as a space for classical music recitals and master classes, but also as a venue for lectures, presentations, and other experimental uses.

The brick facade, which blends in with the surrounding campus, and the bright lobby contrast with the darkened, chamber hall. We enter the hall facing away from the stage at the upper side gallery. This short, open walkway gives our eyes a chance to adjust to the black interior finishing as we spiral down to our seats.

Asymmetric curvature in plan and angled walls create a more dynamic space than any simple black box chamber hall. The audience rake steeply descends all the way to stage level, where the front two rows wrap fully around stage left, recessed slightly into the wall. Consequently, everyone is unified in the calm and intimate space.