Los Angeles Trade Technical College graduates with honors
Designed by MDA Johnson Favaro Architecture, South Campus is the first project to be completed within the the Los Angeles Trade Technical College's campus master plan. The reestablishment of the 80-year-old urban college is a result of the Los Angeles Community College District's voter approved bond funding in 2001. Located on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, South Campus consists of two 5-story buildings totaling over 120,000 SF and nearly $80 million in construction costs.
As one of several higher education projects by the firm, Johnson Favaro's approach is a fundamental component of LACCD's transformation. Principal Steve Johnson states, "Buildings of simple form but enduring substance are the norm and have served well for a long time to impart purpose and dignity to the endeavor of higher education. Community colleges, long neglected and for too long often seen as "13th grade," deserve the same quality environment that we experience at a 4-year college. It is arrogant to assume we can best the tradition with our experiments. It is a challenge to simply do as well."
The architects were inspired by the nearby brick warehouses and the simplicity of the block-long, large-windowed industrial buildings. Tree-filled quadrangles and courtyards sit at the core of the 26-acre campus, while the new buildings shape the entrance and give form to the street edge. Johnson describes: "At the entrance court and the upper levels of the Grand Avenue facades we took a simple material, smooth finish plaster, and gave it dramatic form suggestive of draped or blown fabric, providing a strong visual contrast against the mid-day sky."
South Campus includes the new one-stop Student Services Administration Building with a lobby that extends into two stories of floors and counters clad in marble, using the material in its traditional mode as a durable and substantial public asset. Across the court, in the Technology Classroom Building, a banquet and conference room accommodates a large variety of college functions. New 'smart classrooms', two sloped-floor lecture theaters and distance-learning classrooms complete the building. The project achieved a LEED Gold certification, in part by using mechanical systems that perform 42% more effciently than Title 24. Also included is energy generation provided by roof-top photovoltaics located at an adjacent off-site farm.