March 2018 – October 2018
5,000 s.f. interior renovation
In 2014 a prominent art and design college purchased 128,000 square foot, 1980’s, six story, mid-rise building at the end of the historic 110 freeway. The ‘site’ for this project is level four of six. The former office building itself is the context that we are radically transforming; 1980s office space planning, finishes and fixtures, and the dark inner circulation were all challenged during the design process. The project is designed to span across and cut through the middle of the fourth level of the mid-rise building, situating it between views of the city to the east and views of the evolving south campus to the west.
project program / scope:
The programmatic charge was to create an alumni center for the College’s global alumni network of 20,000 artists and designers including a dedicated gallery, lounge and conference room to convene in when they return to campus. The spaces needed to be flexible enough to accommodate a range of types and scales of events, to serve as an important programmatic gathering space, and a constant source of inspiration.
This project is one in a series of projects designed and completed for this client over the last six years. The design process with the client is collaborative, and we have worked very hard to answer the high aesthetic standards of an institution dedicated to design excellence and innovation. At the same time, we have worked on a language related to our core belief that ‘Architecture is the ferocious pursuit of presence to actualize absence’ and linked to our own interests in extending the work of the southern California Light and Space movement. The new center featuring a dedicated alumni gallery, conference center, and lounge links the spaces, physically and visually across the building through the elevator lobby to create an immediate sense of arrival and place. The center itself is designed to locate each Alum within the campus and within their larger network of peers. In the Alumni Gallery space a 25’ x 8’ glass plane digital touch screen is programmed to contain an interactive virtual alumni gallery encompassing the work of distinguished Alumni through the decades and around the globe. The glass curtain wall that separates the conference center and lounge from the elevator lobby has a translucent gradient color screened film we designed to key into the spirit and lineage of the college and incorporate the alumni center signage. The conference center and lounge are separated by a gloss white retractable ‘sky-fold’ wall to allow for larger events. Throughout the design white and black contrasts warm color gradient spectrums all manifest in matte and gloss through the entire material palette. The space also features lighting fixtures and furniture specified by the architect to showcase work of college alumni.