Produced for the third studio in UCLA's core sequence, with an organizing concept of landscape as infrastructure (as identifiable in MVRDV’s Villa VPRO or OMA’s Parc de la Villette entry), used to inform this scheme for a new building for UCLA’s Architecture and Urban Design (AUD) department. The disparate given program requirements were reshuffled into three blocks: Administration/Faculty, Studios/Classrooms, and Library/Critique, which begin as separate bars that are then intersected for programmatic interconnection. Each volume uses a different infrastructural approach to programmatic organization, based on a reinterpretation of ramped parking structure building techniques. The library and studio volumes use ramped spirals to allow their programmatic contents to be accessed with continuity, and to smoothly expand or contract based on the changing requirements of the school. The studio and administrative volumes embrace another facet of parking structure construction in that additional floors can be easily added at a later date. The library volume in turn can grow significantly by densifying along its ramped floors internally. The three intersected program volumes also use different glazing types to accentuate their differing functions from the exterior, and to address their varied performance requirements.
The landscape around the built area is programmatically sliced and slanted in ways reminiscent of the internal infrastructure of the AUD building, but the landscape is allowed to more freely range across the site, with less rigorously defined programmatic requirements. Each east-west slice of landscape performs a different programmatic function based on its orientation, slope, and material cladding. Landscape programs include an amphitheater, circulation, basement access, plazas, raised courtyard, tree stands, reflecting pool, and grass-covered seating mounds. On the south side of the building, the site slice cracks and slopes below grade to give access and views to the half-submerged theater below the library volume. The adjacent landscape slice at the southern edge of the site dips further below grade to create sloped seating for an informal outdoor amphitheater and reveals a large section of the long-buried 1930’s era arched bridge that linked the first buildings of the UCLA campus with the neighborhood to the east. At the north face of the building, the site cuts down to the level of the basement to allow views and access to basement level program, where the walls pivot open to bring the exterior infrastructural landscape into greater contact with the interior one.
Status: School Project
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US