California Shakespeare Theater

The Sharon Simpson Center at the California Shakespeare Theater, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, encourages environmental stewardship and sustainable goals by utilizing a living roof and being integrated into the natural landscape of the site.

Located in Orinda’s Siesta Valley watershed, the Sharon Simpson Center supports the artists, artisans and patrons of the California Shakespeare Theater; encouraged by environmental stewardship, inspired by the landscape, and influenced by the innovative theater productions, the Sharon Simpson Center merges site, program, and architecture.

Owner

California Shakespeare Theater

Location

Orinda, CA

Size

7,850 sq. ft. (new structure)

Image Credit

Bruce Damonte

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Designed to support the artists and audiences who call Cal Shakes their theatrical home, the Sharon Simpson Center at the Bruns Amphitheater includes new dressing rooms, green room, wardrobe room, offices, store, and a cafe. The entire structure is topped with a living roof which provides habitat for native species and a visual link to the surrounding hills of the Siesta Valley. The Sharon Simpson Center aspires beyond simple sustainability metrics and integrates the experience of nature as the fundamental design solution for the site planning and building massing. By both strategically burying portions of the building and folding the landscape onto the living roof, the building integrates with the plaza, connects to the surrounding hills, minimizes its visual impact, and lastly, provides a habitat for native species.

Awards
AIA East Bay, Citation Award
The Sharon Simpson Center at the California Shakespeare Theater, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, encourages environmental stewardship and sustainable goals by utilizing a living roof and being integrated into the natural landscape of the site.
The Sharon Simpson Center at the California Shakespeare Theater, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, encourages environmental stewardship and sustainable goals by utilizing a living roof and being integrated into the natural landscape of the site.
The Sharon Simpson Center at the California Shakespeare Theater, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, encourages environmental stewardship and sustainable goals by utilizing a living roof and being integrated into the natural landscape of the site.