More Awards for UCLA Graduate Art Studios

Pure gold. In the past several months, the UCLA Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios has received multiple top tier awards for its design innovation and construction excellence. It has also been awarded LEED Gold v4.

Let’s take a look at how it all came together.

It all started in Hayden Tract – a media-focused, trend-setting enclave disguised as an industrial neighborhood. Hayden Tract is home to icons like Beats by Dre, Nike, Anonymous Content, Popsugar, and Vespertine, and is surrounded by public art and a growing number of architectural wonders.

So when UCLA decided to level up their home in the warehouse in the neighborhood, they chose Johnston Marklee and Abbott Construction to make it happen.

We know that complex renovations and expansions can be tricky in the urban environment. This project was no exception. Our objective was to renovate and expand the WW2 era bowstring and truss warehouse by adding a site-cast tilt-up solution.

This project required over 4000 yards of concrete, and almost every type of concrete application, including: existing foundation retrofitting, grade beams, shotcrete walls, cast-in-place columns and shear walls, and tilt-up panels. As a result it was awarded the grand prize by the American Concrete Institute of Southern California, as well as the Tilt-Up Achievement Award, for its complexity and execution.

Those tilt ups are a perfect example of how much care and precision was required on this project. With power lines uncomfortably close, Abbott had to shut down the grid for 3 days while we used a crane to lift, move, and carefully set each panel in place. The pillow-shaped, site-cast panels were also entirely custom; no one had ever built them before.

The finished result was a stunning new art center and gallery, including atrium, museum space, individual studios, and a sprawling series of workshops that accommodate any art application.

Awards and Recognition:

  • LEED Gold v4
  • Grand Prize, ACI Southern California
  • Progressive Architecture Award, Architect Magazine
  • Acknowledgement Prize, LaFargeHolcim Foundation
  • Tilt-Up Achievement Award, Excellence in Achievement Distinction,
    Tilt-Up Concrete Association
  • New Construction – Award of Excellence, Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards
  • Design Award – Honor Award, AIA Los Angeles
  • Design Award – Honor Award, AIA California
  • Regional Excellence Award, WoodWorks U.S. Wood Design Awards
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