Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Virginia Piper Theater


After more than a year of renovation and renewal, the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts embarked upon a new era with the opening of its state-of-the-art Virginia G. Piper Theater.

Originally designed by noted Southwestern architect Bennie Gonzales in 1975, the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts had never been renovated. The Scottsdale Cultural Council hired FDA in 2006 to evaluate its two aging performance spaces and develop recommendations for their renovation and improvement. Following an extensive study period, the Cultural Council voted to move ahead with our recommendations for a $14m upgrade of the facility. Working with local architect John Douglas and acoustician McKay Conant Hoover, FDA saw the renovation completed in 2009.

Among the larger improvements was the re-raking of the auditorium to improve sightlines and ADA access. The addition of seating boxes at the sides of the hall give the theatre a much more intimate atmosphere and provide VIP seating opportunities. The new plan is remarkably efficient: while the hall is narrower and the last row of seats is closer to the stage, the seat count is actually higher than it was before the renovation. The brand new technical and followspot booths are enclosed with excellent views to the stage, where new, state-of-the-art equipment completely upgrades the technical capabilities of the room.

  • Client: Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
  • Architect: John Douglas Architect
  • Completion Year: 2009
  • Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Capacity: 852 seats

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