A new performing arts center in South Orange County might give the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts a little competition.
Soka University's Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo opens Sept. 17.
It has something in common with the famous L.A. music hall: Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics, who also worked on the Disney hall, helped create the 47,836-square-foot, $73-million project.
A walk through the center, which can seat up to 1,000, reveals Toyota's minimalist design and an attention to his specialty: acoustics.
"He understands both the creation of music and how you hear it as a musician," said David Palmer, the center's general manager. "As an engineer, he gets how it works and how different materials affect the sound. He's an artist and scientist in one package."
Every element — from the cherry wood on the walls and unfinished Alaskan white cedar on the floor to the polished concrete — changes the way that sound is heard inside the hall.