BEVERLY HILLS, LOS ANGELES, CA
STUDIO: ARCH 412, Prof. Chandler Ahrens, Washington University in St. Louis, Spring 2014
PROGRAM: A university campus for 200 students in Beverly Hills, California, containing student residences, classrooms, film production spaces, administrative spaces, student common areas, a public theater and outdoor spaces.
On a prominent urban corner surrounded by three major boulevards, I propose a design that weaves residential and academic program around public, community spaces. The plaza and amphitheater, intended for both university and community use, serve as a central quad for campus life, and as an extension of the surrounding urban fabric. Semi-public spaces, such as classrooms, a dining hall, kitchen, gymnasium, and student commons, form the bridge between this public sphere and the private, residential sphere beyond. Overlapping, overlooking, and converging spaces enrich and supplement formal cinematic education by encouraging students, faculty, and visitors to confront, investigate, and contemplate their understandings of viewership, mise en scène, and sensory perception. The dramatic, sweeping curves that define the campus aesthetic can be interpreted as both a contemporary nod to Los Angeles’s cultural and stylistic association with retro-futurism, as well as a commentary upon the role that cinema has played, from its Golden Age to the present day, in defining and capturing the look, feel, spirit, and values of a time and place.