Academic Advancement Learning Pavilion, UCLA

Barton Phelps & Associates - Academic Advancement Learning Pavilion, UCLA

Academic Advancement Learning Pavilion
University of California, Los Angeles


A Helpful Room

This project represents efforts by UCLA to fill an instructional gap for capable undergraduate students, who are encountering difficulty with coursework. The big, rectangular room is an addition to Campbell Hall, a generic mid-century campus brick and concrete structure for which BPA had earlier designed an exterior seismic renovation. It doubles the Academic Advancement Program’s capacity to accommodate voluntary daytime and evening tutorial groups taught by graduate students. Basic space and lighting requirements for rearrangeable furniture groupings and interactive digital equipment are given complexity by the program need to accommodate both traditional, single-audience lectures and as many as six smaller, interactive study groups that often are conducted simultaneously.

Tightly limited in budget, the project essentially encloses an existing corner patio with glass and looks to special acoustic possibility to establish spatial identity. The deeply coffered ceiling allows teachers to be clearly understood by their study groups without interfering with discussions in adjacent spaces. Reflective and absorptive materials are carefully dimensioned and arranged to respond to competing sources of sound. At its west end, the room swings open at a tall window that looks out on of the historic campus core. Seen from the cross campus walkway, the window anchors the center and, partly in response to a negative stigma some students once sensed in the campus community, reveals its hitherto closeted self as a place to see and be seen.

Photography: Benny Chan, Fotoworks