USC Roski School of Art & Design

Los Angeles, California

The first phase of this project included 15,000 square feet of offices and classrooms. After the initial occupancy, USC realized an immediate need for more space, and teamed with Ware Malcomb to design an additional 10,000 SF expansion including 18 student studios and an expanded professional gallery.

The reception area sets the tone for the entirety of the space with natural elements and clean lines complemented by a neutral color palette. Spotlighted by track lighting, visitors are met by a gallery which showcases the students’ talent and reinforces the purpose of the space. Natural elements such as continual concrete floors are conducive to the school’s artistic environment, while the students’ art along the walls remains an important focal point. An open concept floorplan with 18’ ceilings and vast lighting fixtures transform the space into a modern artistic haven.

Due to the sensitive nature of the art inhabiting the space, proper lighting and heat control was crucial to keeping the integrity of the students’ work. The workspace includes generously sized 4’ x 8’ desks and multiple areas to enrich the learning experience. These spaces include two modular classrooms along with a maker’s space featuring various equipment such as laser cutters, 3D printers, and an equipment check out area, allowing students to utilize multiple technological resources in their artistic process.

Being in the vibrant Los Angeles Arts District, the exterior environment inspired many interior elements of the school, including the dichotomy of old and new and the industrial façade distinct to the area’s aesthetic.