JFAK was selected to transform a property in the City of South Gate into the future home of the Russell Westbrook Academy. Founded last year by Los Angeles native and LA Lakers basketball star Russell Westbrook, the Academy, currently housed at two separate leased facilities, is dedicated to improving access to educational and outdoor opportunities for the youth and greater community of South Los Angeles. The South Gate site is currently occupied by a 50,000 SF warehouse-turned-classroom-building used by East Los Angeles College (ELAC), a Carl’s Jr. restaurant, and parking. Owned and operated by LA Promise Fund (LAPF) and supported by the Russell Westbrook Foundation, the Academy comprises both a middle school and high school. From its new home in South Gate, the Academy will expand on the educational, career support, and outdoor community opportunities it offers to local students. JFAK has commenced master planning the site and will design facilities to host a variety of new programs including a community recreation center and gym, classrooms, daycare, parking, and food service. Also being integrated are outdoor education, recreation, and dining functions. The existing Carl’s Jr. is expected to be transformed and usable by the summer of this year. The 50,000 SF warehouse, renovated to contain 37 classrooms, will open to middle and high school students in Fall 2024. Working collaboratively with LAPF, Russell Westbrook Academy, and Owner’s Representative and Project Manager Primestor Development, JFAK will assist in realizing the remaining master plan components beyond that date.
The Pio Pico Library Pocket Park and Parking Structure will consist of a public park located on-grade, at the location of the current surface parking lot that serves the Pio Pico Public Library. This area is one of the most park poor in the City, with a very dense population. The
Park is intended to serve the neighborhood and visitors to Koreatown. It will function as an outdoor extension of the Library providing reading areas and social spaces for Library patrons. The project will also include façade enhancements to the public library, which fronts directly onto the park. The library’s new façade will include a new building logo that will form a bold graphic on the building and will help to enliven the identity of the park. This much-needed new public park for Koreatown will ameliorate the neighborhood’s hard surfaces with a softened multi-purpose outdoor public space that is vibrant, colorful, and functional. It will be a space that the entire Koreatown community (and indeed, the City) can enjoy. Part plaza, part event space, part play and recreation area, Pio Pico Pocket Park will also nurture a greater understanding of biodiversity and environmental sensitivity through its design elements and embedded graphics. As such, it will provide a great venue for outdoor learning and library activities.
We are embedded in Los Angeles’ tech culture and embrace LA as a city of innovation. Over the years, many leading tech companies have engaged us to test-fit spaces for their needs, including Honey, Plenty Unlimited, and Netflix. Here, we worked with Netflix Animation, an animation studio and subsidiary of Netflix. The studio primarily produces and develops animated programs and feature films. This project features a transformation of existing soundstage “cube” volume into creative workspace for a major animation company. Offices were comprised of individual modular pods designed by JFAK and constructed by a Film and television set design professional. Lounges, pods, open workstations by Steelcase, and two freestanding conference room volumes rounded out the programmed space.
Awarded through a design-build competition hosted by BuildLACCD, LACCD’s sustainable building program, JFAK designed the full modernization of an existing 1-story administration building on the L.A. Harbor College (LAHC) campus to serve as headquarters for the LAHC Job Placement and Data Center as well as a division of the Fire Department / Homeland Security and a WorkSource OneSource Center. The re-design of JPDC strengthens its connectivity to the campus by enhancing the visual impact of the building by creating fluid connections between interior and exterior spaces. A new clocktower featuring a changeable LED display enhances the building’s presence and transforms it into an iconic landmark for the entire campus. It also marks the main entrance to the building. A new photovoltaic trellis cantilevers out over the roof to mark the building’s second major entrance. The design fosters a welcoming and inviting environment for students, faculty, and staff and encourages interaction. A new photovoltaic skylight covers an existing roof opening, creating a new interior atrium space which is the focal point of this new and catalytic environment.
The new Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant (DCTWRP) Maintenance Facility will include approximately 48,000 SF on two stories. The building is divided into two programmatic volumes connected by a common roof. The volume to the south includes the warehouse on the ground floor, which provides storage space for all parts, materials, and portable tools required for the maintenance of the DCTWRP. Above it on the second floor is the facility’s main administrative wing, with three closed offices and a workroom, as well as three conference rooms that will be used to hold meetings and training sessions. Movable walls between the conference rooms will allow the three separate spaces to be combined into one large room that can accommodate over 100 people. Portable, modular furniture will make a multitude of furniture layouts possible. In addition to upgraded shops and warehouse, the new facility will house all required support functions including offices, conference rooms, library, lunchroom, locker rooms, and other programmatic elements. The facility will be LEED certified with a target of LEED Gold.
The new kindergarten classroom building at Wonderland Elementary School is a sculptural one-story building that is mostly curved in plan, presenting a soft edge towards the campus. The design builds upon the idea that “wonder” can be expressed in an architecture that is simple, sculptural, light-filled, colorful, and full of unexpected moments and spaces of discovery.
The program calls for two kindergarten classrooms, student restrooms, faculty restroom, electrical and utility room, covered walkway to provide protection from inclement weather, and storage rooms that are accessible from the exterior. Toplight, provided through skylights and solatubes, is a key component of the design. A covered walkway is integrated into the volume of the building to shelter users during rainy days. Each classroom has a special circular reading nook that is toplit and will form the basis of small-group teaching, independent reading, and other special activities. The building is designed to meet Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) sustainability measures.
The City of Anaheim’s Public Utilities Department will replace its current field office building with a new state-of-the-art facility – Crew Quarters Building, or CQB – that will establish inspiring and efficient workspace and support services for both field workers and those permanently stationed there. In addition, on a nearby property facing Vermont Avenue, a new Sustainability Education Center (SEC) will provide the community with an classroom, training, and exhibit facility that will educate the public about sustainability, available technologies, and resources, and the latest in single-family-home advancements. To address the latter, an 800 SF demonstration home will be included within the SEC that will showcase the latest affordable appliances, electronics, and materials that can be found in the typical American middle-class single family dwelling. The SEC will also include a large demonstration garden that will be used to hold outdoor classes and events and host larger-scale outdoor exhibits. The project, currently in Schematic Design, is expected to be completed by Spring 2022. It is envisioned that the SEC will attain Net Zero Energy performance, and serve as a model for other cities.
Rinker Health Science Campus, located in Irvine, is a satellite campus of Chapman University devoted to graduate education and research on the human health-related challenges of our time. Currently housed in a segregated group of office buildings, Rinker Campus is poised for transformation into a unified and interconnected environment that advances wellness and sustainability. JFAK produced a conceptual masterplan that conjoins three major components of Rinker Campus – a new parking structure, an East Quad, and a West Quad. Added programs such as a new fitness center, new research building, and active landscapes merge to form an interconnected center that will recruit new talent, inspire students, and enhance the community-at-large.
JFAK is in the first phases of designing a complete renovation of UCSD’s Main Gym and Natatorium to update it for new contemporary fitness and athletics uses, as well as for a new generation of students and users. Originally completed in 1968, the buildings are excellent examples of mid-century modern architecture, and a portion of the buildings’ façade is historically protected. The project will include approximately 65,000 SF of renovation, restoration, and seismic retrofit, and an approximately 15,000 SF addition. The project will comprise a full seismic retrofit of both buildings. It is intended to be certified LEED Silver at minimum. We’re excited to be working with the UCSD community to breathe new life into this pair of iconic buildings.
The Iovine Young Center (IYC) is a progressive high school that will be located at the Audubon Middle School campus in the Leimert Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles. JFAK will work in collaboration with Iovine and Young Academy (IYA), the groundbreaking educational startup housed at USC and founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, as well as its partner Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). IYC’s programming will be modeled on that of IYA, which combines design and the arts; engineering and computer science; business and venture management; and communication. Music and digital production; exploration of AI; applied design research; and immersive, hands-on makerspace/lab work will be actively on display. Core high school subjects will form the spine of the IYC curriculum. JFAK is engaged in two parallel tasks: renovation of two existing buildings to provide 14 inaugural classrooms and support spaces which finished September 2022 (Phase 1), and a longer master planning, design, and construction pathway that will culminate in the realization of IYC’s new, permanent home (Phase 2).