ArtCenter College of Design has unveiled plans to expand their campuses into an urban center of art and creative education. Designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture with contributions from Tina Chee Landscape Studio, Sherwood Design Engineers and electrical engineers from ARUP, the master plan includes a transportation hub, a cycleway, an elevated park-like quad and a student housing village.
Spanning 4.7 miles, the proposal extends across the College's existing Hillside and South Campuses, bridging the existing buildings and transforming new areas along the way with a focus on strengthening four basic pillars: Place-Making, Community Building, Student Living and Sustainability. From retail spaces to green living quarters, art galleries and basketball courts—the newly connected ArtCenter will turn into a veritable district of education, art and design.
A bird's eye view of ArtCenter's South Campus master plan. [Image courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architecture]
To synthesize all the various connective elements, the proposal adopts a vertically layered organizing strategy. The ground-level layer is oriented to the street and is defined by vibrant, transparent and accessible programming that welcomes in the surrounding city. The second-floor layer includes academic spaces and campus-specific services, all connected by the CycleWay—a pedestrian-oriented path that connects to each building and the main quad. The third-floor layer is composed of elevated quads, open green spaces and connective roofscapes. The six student residential houses rest on this layer and will house 1,000 students.
Unique to the College's expansion plan is the inclusion of the surrounding community. Auditoriums, exhibition spaces and outdoor workshops, for example, will be open to benefit the larger Pasadena community. "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," said Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Operations, George Falardeau.
A view from Arroyo Parkway of the proposed ArtCenter master plan featuring the Mullin Gallery where classic and futuristic vehicles will be displayed, a Black Box Theater and a stairway leading to a park-like quad. [Image courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architecture] View to the San Gabriel mountains from the ArtCenter main park-like quad. [Image courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architecture / Tina Chee Landscape Studio] A view from South Raymond Avenue of the proposed ArtCenter South Campus mobility hub, student gallery and main park-like quad. [Image courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architecture / Tina Chee Landscape Studio]
A few of the ArtCenter north quad featuring a fitness zone and a community garden. [Image courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architecture / Tina Chee Landscape Studio]
Further details in the visionary proposal include making the nearby Raymond Avenue pedestrian-friendly, a walkable bridge, safer passage over the city's Metro Gold Line tracks and solar panel canopies in the College's parking lots. "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," said architect Maltzan, who collaborated with the College to create the proposal. Pending the City's approval, the two-phase construction is scheduled to begin in 2017.