University of Southern California

United University Church Adaptive Reuse for School of Dramatic Arts

Los Angeles, California

University of Southern California United University Church (UUC) is an historically significant building transformation for the School of Dramatic Arts (SDA). Completed in 1931 by C. Raimond Johnson, and located within the National Register Historic District of the USC University Park Campus (UPC), the project is adaptively reusing and adding on to the original building to consolidate most of their programs—currently scattered throughout campus—into one building and provide performance and teaching spaces, as well as student and DEI spaces, faculty offices, and a courtyard. The scope includes extensive architectural, structural, and building system upgrades, delivering a highly sustainable building with a goal of LEED Platinum with a new use that embraces the historic features of the building while creating a dynamic new home for SDA.

Project Data

30,000 sf
Targeting LEED Platinum

Project Highlights

Studio Theater
Improv-Cabaret Theater
New Media Suite
Rehearsal Classroom
Audio Lab
Voice Practice Rooms
Musical Theater Classrooms
Recording Studio


Structural Engineer: Nabih Yousef & Associates
Civil Engineer: KPFF
MEP: Affiliated Engineers, Inc.
Theater: TheatreDNA
Acoustic McKay Conant Hoover, Inc.
Audio Visual: Multi-media Consulting, Inc.
Landscape Architect: Fong Hart Schneider & Partners

“I see this as a bold step in the continued transformation of SDA. This facility will not only enable us to expand our innovative teaching and research, but I am confident that it will spark a new era of creativity among our students and faculty as they collaborate to create and share powerful and transformative stories that will inspire much-needed social change.”
— Emily Roxworthy, Dean, USC School of Dramatic Arts

Rendering of Chapel after adaptive reuse for Studio Theater
Existing Chapel