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Venue Reporter

A night at the museum
Cortnie Fausner
REPORT
No. 976
VENUE:
Skirball Cultural Center
LOCATION:
Los Angeles, California
TYPE
STYLE
SETTINGS
Museum
Modern Museum meets Noahs Ark
Mountains & Gardens in the City
REPORTER: Cortnie Fausner

The Report

This venue is VRV (Venue Reporter Verified), our venue reporter Eliot has personally visited this venue. One of the best places to host a giant, massive party has to be at the new Guerin Pavilion, tucked away in the larger Skirball Cultural Center. Set in the backwoods of Los Angeles, Skirball has been one of the largest and most well-known sites to both the natives and venue aficionados. It’s not because it’s a 17,500 square feet of event space nor is it because it’s quite simply a dashing space to take your kids on a journey of Jewish history and other Museum Exhibits like Noah's Ark. It’s because the place, on its own, is a mega-house of beautiful and artistic expressions. Though you can’t lodge here, unless you’re some kind of ninja tenant, but you will enter and leave knowing you have a viable venue to plan that fantastical idea of a party you’ve been chewing on.

Designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, and nestled on a 15 acre campus in the Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles, the Skirball has been admired for its sensitivity to the natural environment, modern architectural design and lush landscaping. The peaceful garden patios and a dramatic, contemporary ballroom integrate light, space, water, and sweeping vistas. Flexible exterior and interior spaces accommodate gatherings of all sizes, from intimate groups as small as 15, to gala events of up to 2,000 guests. Events can also be planned so that your guests can view and go on tours of the Skirball exhibitions!

CELEBRATION CAPACITY: 2000
ACCOMMODATIONS: Offsite
HIGH SEASON: n/a
FOOD SERVICE: Provided by Venue
BAR SERVICE: Provided by Venue
VIEWS: Mountains + Garden
ESTABLISHED IN: 1996 & 2013
VENUE SPACES: 7+
DECOR: modern architectural design + lush landscaping.

THE SCOOP

With the opening of Herscher Hall and Guerin Pavilion, the Skirball Cultural Center adds 17,500 square feet of spectacular indoor and outdoor event space. The Taper Courtyard is one of my personal favorites here. It's definitely built to resemble an ancient Greek veranda but with less men in togas and more men in suits. The cool thing is that there’s a reflecting pool on the courtyard’s skirts, inviting tranquility for your big day. Of course, that’s the calm before the storm. We love the idea of hosting ceremonies here with its uber cool Quad seating. This is just one of seven seating options for this spectacular yet intimate outdoor space, enabling loved ones to encircle the bride and groom during the vows. Brides can opt to make their entrance down the staircase behind the reflecting pool, where water lillies float, and the breathtaking views of the Santa Monica Mountains surround the space. This venue space can also be used for dinner parties, it is particularly stunning with uplighting and twinkle lights illuminating the surroundings.

Let's continue the tour to the newest venue space here: the Guerin Pavilion. I got the grand tour of this 9,000+ square ft ballroom with majestic ceiling arches, rails that will support a few elephants, enough floor space to have 670 people, 1,1014 standing, and a center stage that’s meant to host music excursions. This setting is ideal for large-scale events, galas, fundraisers, and social celebrations. Leave the glass doors wide open and your guests will enjoy sweeping vistas of a cascading tiered garden, Japanese maple garden and hillside. Reaching up to forty feet, the vaulted, wooden-arched ceiling and landscaped "garden wall" provide insanely cool backdrops to any event really. The Guerin Pavilion also has sparkling brand new designer tableware, chairs, and new dance floor. Get your swerve on! Architecturally integrated with Guerin Pavilion, Herscher Hall is yet another new venue here! This grand foyer provides additional space and at dusk is quite magical. Imagine your guests mingling in the beautiful courtyard entrance, enjoying cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in the open air.

Skirball’s experience doesn’t stop there. It has 13 other venue spaces that scream “make me come alive.” Take the Cotsen Auditorium, for example. It has over 7,000 square feet of room, a massive theatre seating 617, and looks like a glorious modern cathedral with an effluvium ceiling mimicking the plumage of a swan. Options, options, options!

PHOTOS: Row 1 + 2: Rebecca Peplinski   Row 3: Heidi Ryder Photography

Perfect for:

  • birthday party
  • charity event
  • corporate event
  • dinner party
  • holiday party
  • social event
  • wedding ceremony
  • wedding reception

BONUS

Catering here is easy peasy. The on-site culinary staff exemplifies corporate gourmet with sophisticated menu selections. Kosher catering is also available. I got to taste test some delightful apps at the opening, and they were delishhh! No rubbery chicken here.

Another bonus? Large projection screens are in the ballroom already! Perfect for multimedia or movie watching of any sort. Charming wedding slideshows, silent movies as a backdrop to your event, or  even formal business presentations. They have you covered.

STYLE FOR YOUR SETTING

Our two favorite elements of Skirball Cultural Center are the incredible modern architecture AND the culture of course. We especially love the stationary exhibit of Noah's Ark. We haven't seen too many events incorporate good ol' Noah, but we love the idea of fuzing the history of Noah's Ark with the modern day setting of the venue. Not to mention that the soaring ceilings and architectural lines of the venue kind of remind us of an ark in their own right. With that we bring you.. Noah's Ark-meets-the-modern-day.

1. Guest Sign In: This modern screenprint with patterns of Noah's ark animals, is the perfect guest sign in art piece. Buy them in a few different colors from etsy seller, Bold and Noble, for guests to write notes and scribble on.   2. Layered Rugs: Place rugs down the ceremony aisle or under dining tables for a dinner party. This is a cultural center after all, so placing Turkish rugs that are silk embroidered with a handmade Noah's Ark design is perfect for this setting. AND an heirloom piece after your soiree.   3. Table Settings: Rustic wood planks, reminiscent of the ark, drilled with holes to set candles into, would be elegant and unique. Set tables with vintage plates from different areas of the world to further represent the cultural vibe of the venue. Photo source: Unknown.

INSIDE SCOOP

Noah’s Ark exhibit is probably one of coolest things you’ll see here. Though it’s catered towards educating and providing a playground for children to tinker both their hands and minds with, the artwork featured is here breath-taking and innovative. You’ll see animal referenced in the biblical story of Noah’s ark replicated with daily utensils and a few other picked up metal objects. The flexible spaces in Herscher Hall can be used for a variety of purposes. Clients may choose to set up a comfortable, cozy childcare area for their guests.

HIGHLIGHT REEL

  • Fully customizable event spaces adding up to 17,500 square feet
  • Professional event design staff at hand
  • Catering services offering gourmet menus
  • Private bride and groom suites for wedding parties
  • Bernardaud porcelain tabletop among other designer tableware
  • Flexible hours, free parking, valet available
  • Zeidler’s Café
  • Exhibitions like Noah’s Ark cycling all around the year

AROUND TOWN

Hotel Bel Air:

One of the closest places to Skirball Cultural Center to rest your weary head after a long night of celebrating is the iconic Hotel Bel Air. Nestled in 12 acres of landscaped gardens, this peaceful getaway-from-it-all is where the rich and famous go to hide. The property also recently underwent a fantastic renovation! Visit: dorchestercollection.com

Getty Villa Visit:

Just down the 405 freeway from Skirball, is the stunning Getty Center Museum and Getty Villa. Treat guests to a tour of the exhibits, famously gorgeous gardens, and views that are second to none in the Los Angeles area. Even the tram ride from the parking lot to the museum is fun for kids and adults alike. Visit: getty.edu

Nightcap & Jazz:

Your guests will love a night at one of Los Angeles’ most exciting restaurants, Vibrato Grill Jazz, the city’s premiere jazz space. Its elegant interior will take you back in time with world-class music & delicious American cuisine, all conceived by 7X GRAMMY-winning music icon Herb Alpert. Star Sightings? Charlize Theron just went with Sean Penn to watch pal Seth MacFarlane perform. Visit: .vibratogrilljazz.com

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