The existing 144,000-square-foot Dickson Art Center, located on the UCLA campus, was originally constructed in 1964. Housing the departments of art and design, this building incorporates additional space allocated to the Center for the Digital Arts and general classroom use. During the 1994 Northridge earthquake this building was damaged, requiring structural reinforcement.
Located at the north end of an important north-south axis, the Broad Art Center is an integral part of a new north gate to campus. The heart of the art and design programs is the teaching studios, where students create and share their creations with others. Utilizing a loft-like floor plan with flexible space and services, reconfiguration of program areas can be accomplished easily as the needs of the art school change. To achieve this potential, a radical renovation of the art school’s tower was designed.
Outboard structural buttresses were added to the west end of the tower, upgrading the existing structural frame. This innovative alternative to interior shear walls allows flexible interior space unencumbered by structural partitions. The new buttresses on the west provide shaft enclosure for a new service elevator, linking the loading dock with each floor and roof areas.
An existing courtyard was excavated, creating a new performance art space with acoustic and lighting design capable of supporting a multitude of uses. The new circulation balconies give access to program areas and provide south elevation sun control. A lattice of horizontal blades and roofs filters sunlight and views to and from these exterior corridors. New informal meeting spaces for small groups of faculty and students are located at each floor level adjacent to the elevator core.