UCLA Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios Project Wins Prestigious Tilt-Up Concrete Award

by Karen Lee

Posted on

October 09, 2020

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We are pleased to announce the UCLA Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios project was honored with a Tilt-Up Achievement Award, as well as an Excellence in Achievement distinction from the Tilt-Up Concrete Association. The excellence designation is awarded to the top projects that score the highest in architectural and engineering creativity, and construction ingenuity.

The project team of Abbott Construction, Johnston Marklee, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, and Largo Concrete, Inc. was recognized for their work at the recent virtual Awards Gala held in conjunction with the Tilt-Up Convention and Expo.

The Project

Located in the notable Hayden Tract of Culver City, the project renovated a 21,200 square-foot 1940s-era warehouse and expanded it with a 26,800-square-foot, L-shaped addition. Utilizing more than 4,000 yards of concrete, it featured virtually every concrete application. These included existing foundation retrofitting, grade beams, shotcrete walls, cast-in-place columns and shear walls, and tilt-up panels.

The building’s signature pillow-shaped, site-cast exterior walls were the first of their kind and entirely custom. Half-sized panels were suspended 15 feet in the air to support curved glulam beams at the roof structure, adding to the building’s softer appearance. Erecting the tilt-ups in an urban environment required precision, and involved coordinated shut down of adjacent power lines, as well as a customized system to protect the unique pillow panels prior to tilt-up.

Tilt-up concrete provided many benefits on this project. For example, the thick walls eliminated the need for waterproofing and insulation. The onsite work reduced the cost and environmental impact with trucking materials to the site. As the building was designed for LEED Gold certification, sustainable strategies were integral to the project.

The finished spaces include interwoven studios, laboratories, galleries, classrooms, interior courtyards and an artist-in-residence loft. The result is a stunning new 48,000-square-foot art center that brings a community of students and faculty together to create and collaborate.