John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects
1461 E 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033
213 253 4740
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c. JFAK, 2020
The sculptural form of Roberts Pavilion, which bulges and retreats according to the particularities of its tight site, creates an iconic image that helps brand the college, and simultaneously anchors a new and important campus entry. Each of its facades has been designed to simultaneously take advantage of existing views and limit heat gain, its terra cotta cladding providing gravitas to the structure while serving as a heat sink, absorbing heat during the day and emitting it at night.
Inside, a three-level main arena sits at the heart of the facility, around which the other programmatic elements are organized and accessed by a series of wide “streets” designed to promote interaction and community. (In fact, as the College has no formal “student center,” this building has stepped into that function.) Spacious yet compact, strategic transparencies throughout the structure create strong visual connections and a welcoming environment overall, where anyone feels invited to try a new activity. Providing a venue for music, drama, and school congregations in addition to sports, the design of the Lobby eschews the typical sports-related imagery and instead presents a “Character Wall” that incorporates three-dimensional letters that spell out the names of ten important character traits in ten different languages and cultures, thereby representing the diversity of the college’s students, its global outlook, and the academic puzzles that are at the heart of its mission.