Craig Stewart

Craig Stewart

New York, NY, US


Electrical Training Trust

The Electrical Training Trust project
involved the development of a 141,000
square foot facility in Commerce, California
for the training of apprentice, journeymen
and contract electricians. The organization
had leased space distributed throughout
the city of Los Angeles and the new facility
serves to centralize as well as generating a
singular architectural identity for the institution.
The architectural program for
the facility was to accommodate 30 classrooms,
6 large and small laboratories,
several unique student and staff support
activity spaces, and a large high-bay space
dedicated to conduit bending and traffic
signal wiring, and 25,000 square feet of office
space for the three distinct administrative
The relocation to an existing warehouse
complex meant that a set of buildings
designed for one set of purposes is now being
used for another. As this shift from one
program to another was exploited, a series
of ‘misfit’ or ‘misregistered’ spatial conditions
was identified. In some cases, aspects
of these new programs were too large and
the sites far too small. In other cases, the
opposite, with more domestic events occurring
in seemingly disjunctive environments.
The project focused on the generative potential
of programmatics through the strategic
engineering of these misregistrations
within spatial situations that were produced
for one set of functions but was now forced
to generate another. The resultant project
resists simple ‘totalizing’ devices in favor
of what Robert Venturi labels as a ‘difficult
whole’ or Christopher Alexander calls
a ‘Semi-Lattice’. In this open landscape of
operations, “richness in meaning” becomes
privileged over “clarity in meaning”; as excess,
redundancy, conflict and change are
considered as important as accommodation,
resolution, and clarity.

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Status: Built
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US
My Role: Designer