48,000 square foot campus in Culver City’s Hayden Tract
By Sam Catanzaro
The UCLA Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios opened September 26 after a major restoration and expansion in Culver City.
Designed by the Los Angeles architecture firm Johnston Marklee, the 48,000 square foot campus in Culver City’s Hayden Tract creates a true artist’s neighborhood, says the school.
“As UCLA celebrates its centennial year, the building underscores the campus’s continued commitment to nurturing generations of artistic talent while simultaneously enriching Los Angeles’ vibrant cultural community,” said the school in a press release.
The complex, located in Culver City’s Hayden Tract was recognized and won an award at the 2019 Progressive Architecture Awards.
“This project opens up new possibilities for a typical warehouse. It shows how a thoughtful approach can make something that is banal and extraordinary. It doesn’t stray too far from the type, but subtle changes—like opening alternating roofs and facades—really redefine its organization and sensibility,” said Paul Andersen, AIA
Clusters of private studio spaces abut communal, shared facilities and critique spaces.
“The design considers the nature of artistic practice today and anticipates change by creating a building that can evolve in the future with new technologies and working methods,” UCLA says.
The complex was designed for LEED Gold certification with sustainable materials throughout.
The restoration was largely funded by a $20 million gift in 2016 from Margo Leavin, the largest ever made by an alumna to the arts within the University of California system.
“I’m grateful that my career in the Los Angeles art world has afforded me the opportunity to support those at the very heart of this community: artists,” Leavin said. “The students, alumni, and faculty from the art department at UCLA shape the future of the arts in Los Angeles and beyond. It would be my wish that others who are passionate about the future of the arts,– especially other women who have enjoyed professional success – will join me in harnessing their resources to benefit those who are still developing their creative practices. We need to remember that without artists, there would be no art world.”