ArtCenter master plan features affordable student housing and elevated quad and cycleway

ArtCenter’s vision for a South Campus student housing village, mobility hub, public gallery and park-like quad. (Image credit: Michael Maltzan Architecture / Tina Chee Landscape Studio)

ArtCenter’s vision for a South Campus student housing village, mobility hub, public gallery and park-like quad. (Image credit: Michael Maltzan Architecture / Tina Chee Landscape Studio)

ArtCenter College of Design has made public its new master plan, charting a 10-year vision for the future of the College’s physical campuses. At a November 12th reception, nearby residents and business leaders were treated to an early look at the visionary proposal that will provide students with innovative learning and making spaces as well as much-needed housing. The College plans to break ground in 2017, following the City of Pasadena’s review process, to create a thriving art and culture educational urban destination.

Highlights of the plan include an elevated park-like quad that spans the Metro Gold Line tracks, a transportation hub, a cycleway, the transformation of Raymond Avenue into a tree-lined pedestrian-friendly road and a student housing village.

“This is mission-driven growth informed by the College’s conservatory-like approach to education,” said Lorne M. Buchman, president of ArtCenter College of Design. “We’re sharing our vision for rich, intercultural and transdisciplinary dialogue, and our goal is to ensure that institutional development is synonymous with meaningful change in the surrounding community.”

During the past five years, ArtCenter has been working in close collaboration with the team at Michael Maltzan Architecture (MMA), a Los Angeles-based architecture and urban design firm known for the creation of progressive, transformative experiences.

“The exciting potential for ArtCenter with the development of this master plan is how its future will be more completely interwoven into the daily and civic life of Pasadena and the greater San Gabriel and Los Angeles regions,” said Michael Maltzan. “This is truly a gateway project that will connect to the spirit of creativity and innovation that have defined the history of Pasadena and the region over the past 100 years.”

Connectivity is key to proposed student housing creating a true comprehensive residential educational experience. The plan presents an affordable and attractive place to live, learn and work with peers, mentors and colleagues in an environment where multiple student needs intersect. For example, the plan shows street level retail space connected to a making space, which connects to a living space and then leads to a playing space such as a basketball court.

The master plan encompasses both Hillside and South Campuses, with new growth taking place on the latter. Focused on creating “one college, one community,” the plan reflects ArtCenter’s effort to connect its two physically distinct campuses. The user experience on both the Hillside and South campuses, 4.7 miles apart, will benefit from thoughtful development of technology resources, multimodal transportation systems and on-the-ground resources. Additionally, new gathering points, including exhibition spaces, public auditoriums and outdoor workshops, will be available to friends and neighbors throughout Pasadena as well as ArtCenter students, faculty and staff.

“Extending our reach further into the city and beyond provides important opportunities to deepen our engagement with diverse communities,” said George Falardeau, senior vice president of Real Estate and Operations. “The close proximity of South Campus to public transportation enables the College to invigorate art and design learning for all ages through continuing education, special events and public programs that help enrich our culture and society.”

The College will finance the cost of the expansion by way of a long-term state bond issue, with plans to repay the debt through an ambitious and comprehensive capital campaign. Tuition dollars will not be used to realize this vision.

Contributing expertise on the visionary growth proposal with Maltzan are landscape architect Tina Chee Landscape Studio, water infrastructure engineering firm Sherwood Design Engineers and energy engineers from ARUP. Additional team members on the project include entitlement consultant, Montgomery Clark Advisors, signage consultant Wayne Hunt Design, traffic engineers Linscott Law and Greenspan Engineers. Marathon Communications has served in an advisory role in the area of community and governmental relations.

Proposed Smart Growth Set for Two Phases

During Phase I of the master plan, ArtCenter has proposed to build affordable student housing on surface parking lots at 988 S. Raymond and 1111 S. Arroyo. Additionally, both the 950 S. Raymond and 1111 S. Arroyo buildings will undergo internal renovations to accommodate more academic and administrative space. Phase I also includes building a pedestrian bridge between the 988 and 1111 sites to provide a more efficient and safer walking route for students and faculty.

During Phase II, ArtCenter has proposed additional student housing on a parcel at 888 S. Raymond. Phase II will include continued renovations to the 1111 building as well as the construction of an elevated park-like quad to further accommodate safer access over the Metro Gold Line tracks.

While the master plan proposes improvements to the College’s Hillside Campus facilities, there will be no increase in net square footage at that location. During Phase I of the process, the landmark Craig Ellwood-designed building will undergo interior renovations. The open-air Sinclaire Pavilion will be enclosed to provide additional academic space and the temporary modular annex will be removed. To improve energy efficiency, the plan considers solar panel canopies in the north and south parking lots. Proposed improvements to the College’s main entrance on Lida Street will better accommodate shuttles and provide additional security. During Phase II, there are plans to transform an existing facilities building into a commuter service center.

About Michael Maltzan Architecture

Founded in 1995, Michael Maltzan Architecture is an architecture, landscape, and urban design practice committed to the creation of progressive, transformative experiences that chart new trajectories for architecture and the public realm. The Los Angeles-based practice, led by Michael Maltzan, FAIA, has designed award-winning educational and cultural facilities and provided strategic master planning and programming for projects with the Museum of Modern Art, UCLA Hammer Museum, Rice University, San Francisco State University, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Kidspace Children’s Museum and Inner-City Arts.


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