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Academic East Building, Los Angeles Pierce College
Woodland Hills, CA
Campus magnet.
Campus gateway and destination
New multi-discipline academic building connects users to nature
The Academic East building (AEB) will be an approximately 56,000 SF two-story academic building located north of the campus on a site currently used as athletic practice fields. The AEB responds to the existing topography, adjacent buildings, and amenities, to provide an integrated campus design and a home for the math, psychology, and computer science programs, as well as general instructional and study spaces. Intended to be the new prominent face of Los Angeles Pierce College (LAPC) as a campus gateway and a campus destination to all those accessing the north-east campus, the building is poised to create a new bustling campus hub for the science community.

The overall design intent positions AEB to provide an opportunity for students to be exposed and engage with different program offerings for cross disciplinary synergies. The three guiding principles of the design – identity, diversity, and integration – converge into a complete facility that adds to the campus context.

Identity: A dedicated approach, entry, image, and experience for AEB that builds a sense of community among students and faculty. An intimate courtyard experience leads you to the main building entrance and the central lobby creates a special campus hub. The correlation between courtyard, entrance, and lobby will aide intuitive wayfinding and easy orientation within the building. An arcade provides outdoor shaded study areas for individual and group activities and studies.

Diversity: The design responds to the diversity of programs with a variety of collaboration space for different learning styles, from highly collaborative lobby spaces to more intimate outdoor patios around the stairs. A destination for science, the main hub/lobby opens to an intimate courtyard space for students to relax, collaborate, and hang out. It is easily accessible from the classrooms and labs where students spend much of their day.

Integrator: Connection to campus is a main consideration for success. An entry plaza collects the various pedestrian circulation corridors from campus and links them to the main building entrance. Each program connects to the central courtyard, yet each with distinctive experiences. The two-story lobby brings programs together and serves as a center of collaboration, idea exchange and innovation.

With the strategic placement of adjacent collaborative areas, the AEB acts as a magnet, drawing all different constituents toward the center.
The project is designed to achieve LEED v4 Silver Certification and is designed as an all-electric building with high-performance envelope, lighting, HVAC, and plumbing systems to minimize operational loads, positioned to be net zero ready.
HED’s preliminary building energy model analysis shows a 42% reduction in building energy use without solar PVs over ASHRAE 90.1-2010 baseline. When including a rooftop solar PV system, the resulting overall energy performance is projected 52% below the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 baseline.
Providing opportunities for connection to the outdoors and nature is a key feature of this project, furthering the goals and agricultural ethos of LAPC.
The duality of the project’s location, as a gateway and also a destination, plays a role in the visual character of the outward-facing building facades. As a significant gateway building, the AEB has varied character at the main entries to provide distinct identity and offers a tall tower close to Avenue of the Champions.
Abundant glazing connects inside to outside and saves energy by taking advantage of natural light. This transparency makes the building feel less monolithic and more inviting.
Located between classrooms and offices is the main community social hub and lobby with access to the courtyard building. The central location of the lobby within the building aids orientation in the building and promotes intuitive wayfinding.
The AEB unites the Department of math, computer science and psychology’s programs to form an interactive learning environment. The building itself is a teaching tool with prominent teaching gardens and biofiltration planters.
Due to the high traffic volumes, the building offers multiple intuitive, welcoming entries connected to existing campus circulation.
The exterior articulation of the façade reflects the predominantly mediterranean style with white-washed plaster planes, pitched tile roofs and rhythmic openings.
Campus gateway and destination
Academic East Building, Los Angeles Pierce College
Woodland Hills, CA
Campus magnet.