- Sustainability: LEED Platinum Certified (2016)
- Client/Owner: UCLA Capital Programs Design & Construction
- City: Los Angeles
- Country: United States
Text description provided by the architects. UCLA Hitch Commons, the new community building at the heart of the UCLA Hitch Student Residences project, is now LEED Platinum! The building houses a community kitchen and multipurpose rooms. The UCLA Grand Challenge in sustainability is a major university wide initiative focused on getting Los Angeles to 100% sustainability in energy, water, and biodiversity by 2050.
The recently renovated Hitch Student Residences, located on the northwest edge of campus, is a complex of four three-story residential buildings organized around a series of courtyards and a new commons building with shared amenities and meeting spaces. The renovation project was conceived to address accessibility and life-safety deficiencies, including seismic strengthening of the existing structures and inclusion of fire protection systems. The project also provided the opportunity to update the exterior image and energy performance of the buildings by providing a new “skin” as well as updating the interior spaces with new finishes. The existing outdated commons building was replaced with a new building that provides support functions for the Hitch community including study areas, offices, laundry facilities, vending, and a multipurpose space that includes a display kitchen.
The project site was reimagined by utilizing sloped walkways combined with new landscaping to mitigate the existing hillside topography that connect a series of courtyards and outdoor areas. Improvements to the site and recreation facilities help to bolster the sense of community for the residents.
Today, the complex has been transformed into a memorable and socially vibrant environment for future generations of students. Each suite has two bedrooms, a bathroom and a living room. In addition to the renovation, new courtyard and recreation spaces were developed, along with a new commons building that houses a community kitchen and multipurpose rooms. The new design capitalizes on views to the neighboring mountains and ocean, creating a unique student environment and a haven from the remainder of the urban campus.