Cathedral City, CA
- Community amphitheater for local, regional, and international entertainers, as well as community use
- Complements the desert landscape, surrounding mountains, and the area’s dominant mid-century architecture
- IA led a series of live presentations and reviews to achieve community buy-in
- Theatrical and non-theatrical lighting systems provide multiple levels of illumination and experience
- Private entrance shields entertainers from audience view
Cathedral City is one of Southern California’s several desert resorts in the Coachella Valley, known for its annual festivals and events, including the acclaimed Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival. The city engaged IA to design an amphitheater for local, regional, and international entertainers, as well as community use, in a park adjacent to City Hall. The new construction complements the desert landscape, surrounding mountains, and the area’s dominant mid-century modern architecture, pioneered at nearby Palm Springs in the 1950s. The project easily garnered city support and inspired local enthusiasm.
The design process and delivery required coordination with consultants and city management, as well as community buy-in, achieved through a series of live presentations and reviews. IA also included a seasoned Production Manager in the project team as a consultant throughout the entire design process to ensure that the specific requirements of a professional production were efficiently addressed.
A sculptural approach, based on the concept of origami, resonated with both city planners and residents. Over the stage a suspended grid of theatrical lighting and a less intricate lighting system for non-theatrical events offers multiple levels of illumination. A private entrance shields entertainers from audience view, and back of house rooms in a small adjacent building is provided for audio visual and electrical equipment.
Located in a new park with a playground, concession stand, and four-story parking lot that lends itself to VIP seating, the venue accommodates a range of events. A focal point for the community and a beautiful monument in the desert, the amphitheater’s presence at City Center attracts the community and provides an inspiring location for the artists who grace the stage.