Orange Coast College Speech Arts Building

Julius Shulman photography archive, 1936-1997.

Orange Coast College Speech Arts Building


This large group of buildings included an auditorium, ancillary stage production areas, band and orchestra rooms, choral and instrument practice rooms and dressing areas, and is the most successful of the Neutra and Alexander designs for the campus. The auditorium is a rounded and clipped ellipse in plan, its footprint was shaped specifically to allow “theatre-in-the-round” and “audience-in-the-round” techniques. It is placed at a tangent to a long outdoor entrance walkway, which is aligned to the larger grid of the campus and partially sheathed in translucent panels. Neutra and Alexander responded to the brief for a flexible environment by designing tables of different heights as adjustable and removable seating platforms; they also incorporated a pair of revolving stages and two side stages to permit dramatic action to extend around the audience. Massive motor-driven doors open the stage to the outdoor ampitheatre.

Project Detail

Year Built


Project Architect

Neutra & Alexander


Orange Coast College


2701 Fairview Road
Costa Mesa, California

Current Status