Originally known as the “Welcome Center,” the Cultural Center was completed in 2002 at a cost of $825 per square foot and was designed by world renowned architect Richard Meier, also known for his commission of the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Jubilee Church in Rome, Italy. This five floor, 53,056 square foot building is the capstone of the iconic Christ Cathedral campus and is a post-modern expression of Richard Neutra’s original design concepts. It was built in an ovalinear design in order to geometrically complement the existing rectilinear architecture of the Arboretum and Tower of Hope and the triangular layout of the Crystal Cathedral. In 2013, the building was featured as Star Fleet Command in the film “Star Trek: Into Darkness” and the interior was used in several scenes throughout the movie. The lower level houses an indoor/outdoor reception area and the state-of-the-art 298 seat Freed Performing Arts Theatre featuring upgraded surround sound electronics and a movable orchestra pit. This theatre is available for rentals and has welcomed movie premieres, theatrical presentations, concerts and other special events.
In the future, the upper floors will house world class art and spiritual exhibits and offer many cultural events to the community. A restaurant, bookstore and gift shop is planned for the main level.