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  7. Emerson College Los Angeles / Morphosis Architects

Emerson College Los Angeles / Morphosis Architects

  • 01:00 - 31 March, 2014
Emerson College Los Angeles / Morphosis Architects
Emerson College Los Angeles / Morphosis Architects, ©  Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

©  Iwan Baan ©  Iwan Baan ©  Iwan Baan ©  Iwan Baan + 26

  • Architects

  • Location

    5960 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028, United States
  • Category

  • Design Director

    Thom Mayne
  • Project Principal & Manager

    Kim Groves
  • Lead Project Designer

    Chandler Ahrens
  • Project Architect

    Aaron Ragan
  • Area

    107400.0 ft2
  • Project Year


Text description provided by the architects. Bringing student housing, instructional facilities, and administrative offices to one location, ELA condenses the diversity of a college campus into an urban site. Evoking the concentrated energy of East-coast metropolitan centers in an iconic Los Angeles setting, a rich dialogue emerges between students’ educational background and their professional futures.

Emerson College Los Angeles / Morphosis Architects, ©  Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Fundamental to the Emerson Los Angeles experience, student living circumstances give structure to the overall building. Housing up to 217 students, the domestic zones frame a dynamic core dedicated to creativity, learning, and social interaction.

©  Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Composed of two slender residential towers bridged by a multi-use platform, the 10-story square frame encloses a central open volume to create a flexible outdoor “room.” A sculpted form housing classrooms and administrative offices weaves through the void, defining multi-level terraces and active interstitial spaces that foster informal social activity and creative cross-pollination. Looking out onto the multi-level terrace, exterior corridors to student suites and common rooms are shaded by an undulating, textured metal scrim spanning the full height of the towers’ interior face.

©  Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Looking to the local context, the center finds a provocative precedent in the interiority of Hollywood film studios, where outwardly regular facades house flexible, fantastical spaces within. With rigging for screens, media connections, sound, and lighting incorporated into the framework, the upper platform serves as a flexible armature for outdoor performances, transforming the undulating scrim into a dynamic visual backdrop. The entire building becomes a stage set for student films, screenings, and industry events, with the Hollywood sign, the city of Los Angeles, and the Pacific Ocean in the distance providing added scenery.

©  Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Anticipated to achieve a LEED Gold rating, the new center champions Emerson’s commitment to both sustainable design and community responsibility. Defining the building’s facades to the East and West, the residential towers feature an active exterior skin.

©  Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Responding to local weather conditions, the automated sunshade system opens and closes horizontal fins outside the high-performance glass curtain-wall to minimize heat gain while maximizing daylight and views. Further green initiatives include the use of recycled and rapidly renewable building materials, installation of efficient fixtures to reduce water use by 40%, energy savings in heating and cooling through a passive valence system, and a building management and commissioning infrastructure to monitor and optimize efficiency of all systems.

©  Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan
  • Project Designer

    Shanna Yates
  • Project Team

    Natalia Traverso Caruana, Brock Hinze, Yasushi Ishida, Jai Kumaran
  • Project Assistants

    Katsuya Arai, Marco Becucci, Chris Bennett, Cory Brugger, Amaranta Campos, Joe Filippelli, Alex Fritz, Penny Herscovitch, Hunter Knight, Zachery Main, Jon McAllister, Nicole Meyer, Cameron Northrup, Brandon Sampson, Michael Smith, Scott Smith, Satoru Sugihara, Ben Toam, Elizabeth Wendell
  • Visualization

    Josh Sprinkling, Sam Tannenbaum, Jasmine Park
  • Development Consultant

    Robert Silverman
  • Senior Construction Manager

    John Walden
  • Government and Community Relations

    Margaret Ings
  • Facilities Planning

    Jay Phillips
  • Structural

    John A. Martin Associates, Inc.
  • MEP

    Buro Happold
  • Civil

  • Landscape Architect

    Katherine Spitz Associates
  • Sustainability

    Davis Langdon
  • Cost Estimator

    Davis Langdon
  • Façade

    JA Weir Associates
  • Geotechnical

  • Lighting

    Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design, Inc.
  • Acoustics

    Newson Brown Associates LLC
  • Audiovisual/IT

    Waveguide Consulting Inc.
  • Code

  • Specifications

    Technical Resources Consultants, Inc.
  • Vertical Transportation

    Edgett Williams Consulting Group, Inc.
  • Technology & BIM

  • Theater Design

    Auerbach, Pollock, Friedlander
  • Graphics

    Follis Design
  • Smoke Control

  • Waterproofing

    Independent Roofing Consultants
  • Exterior Building Maintenance

  • Architectural Visualization

  • General Contractor

    Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company
  • Metal Façade Subcontractor

    A Zahner Company
  • Curtainwall Subcontractor

    Walters & Wolf
  • Cost

    $85 million

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Project location

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Emerson College Los Angeles / Morphosis Architects" 31 Mar 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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