Johnson Favaro Completes New Continuing and Professional Studies Administration Headquarters for UCLA / by Johnson Favaro

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CPS staff move into 75,000 SF of renovated interior work space designed to promote innovation and collaboration.

Culver City, CA (October 25, 2018) – The UCLA Continuing and Professional Studies (CPS) Administration Headquarters have moved into their home as construction concluded on the renovated interior work spaces designed by Los Angeles based architecture firm Johnson Favaro. The new facility occupies two floors within an office tower on Wilshire Boulevard.

The tower interior will be the new home of UCLA CPS for the next decade as their permanent home is planned and built nearby in Westwood Village. The Continuing Professional Studies program – formerly known as University Extension or “UNEX” – employs over 450 administrative faculty and staff in its headquarters. Since the 1960s, the administrative headquarters had occupied an eight-story tower adjacent to the UCLA campus in Westwood, CA.

With the completion of this new facility, 300 staff have moved into two floors in one of the office towers on Wilshire Boulevard and 150 others have moved to the second floor of Gayley Center, a commercial building in the heart of the Village.

The design of the new interior is driven by the desire to democratize the organization’s work environment in the distribution of view, light, and space. Private offices are located at the center of the floors closest to the building services cores, while natural daylight and views of the surrounding Westwood Village and Santa Monica Bay are distributed throughout the work environment. Only senior administration and department directors – about 40 of the 300 personnel – will reside in private offices, created to be transparent while still equipped to offer acoustic privacy. This model challenges the traditional hierarchies of business organizational structures and creates a variety of unique settings in a work space that is more collaborative, less compartmentalized, and less hierarchical.

The renovation includes forty offices, 260 work stations, a multi-purpose meeting room seating 30, four large meeting rooms, six small meeting rooms, twelve meeting booths, two commons, four break rooms, two marketing and video production studios, and a double-height commons that serves as an in-house assembly space. In total, the project comprises the renovation of 45,000 SF in the Wilshire tower, with 22,500 SF on each floor.

Each space in the new facility offers an opportunity for work in a different setting while also accommodating rest and company. Each floor features a lounge, or “commons,” along the north window wall that faces Westwood Village and UCLA where employees work, collaborate, socialize and rest. On the south side a two-story room referred to as the double height commons serves as an assembly space for all-hands staff meetings.  Break rooms, two on each floor locate at the east and west ends of the building services cores. Enclosed on three sides with floor to ceiling glass these rooms are almost completely open to the work place and enjoy views across the floors to the panoramas beyond. They offer a place to take a meal but are also another opportunity for work and collaboration.  Enclosed meeting rooms of a variety of sizes distribute across the two floors in a variety of locations – most of them nearly completely transparent while also offering acoustic privacy.

Graphic components of the project display imagery associated with UCLA’s main campus. The two elevator lobbies feature patterned floors and printed vaults overhead recalling two of UCLA’s most iconic buildings – Royce Hall and Powell Library. Elsewhere, the double height commons features wallpaper printed with a panoramic view of Dickson Court UCLA’s iconic quadrangle at its historic core. “The graphic component of the interiors is designed to reaffirm the organization’s association with UCLA and assert its identity as an independent, forward thinking organization serving individuals and communities across the globe,” said principal architect Jim Favaro.  Other university motifs such as the blue and gold school colors are subtly conveyed in areas of light blue and brass finishes. Public corridors are lit with linear pattern lighting inspired by traditional brick coursing that compromises most of UCLA’s historic campus structures.

The completion of these administration headquarters marks the conclusion of a project that began in 2015 with the initial planning and design of the interiors, also completed by Johnson Favaro.


About Johnson Favaro

Steve Johnson and Jim Favaro founded the architecture practice Johnson Favaro in 1988 in Culver City, CA with a commitment to the public realm where they believe excellent architecture has the greatest impact and is most appropriately experienced.

For over thirty years Johnson Favaro has focused their work on schools, libraries, civic, cultural and community institutions, both private and public. The firm is founded on the principle that high quality and inspiring architecture in support of the social infrastructure of which these institutions are a part is crucial in the advancement of our democracy and civil society.

Current work includes the new City of Riverside Main Library, the Museum of Redlands (MOR), the new administrative headquarters for UCLA University Extension, the new Center for Excellence campus for Anaheim Union High School District Magnolia High School and an Allied Health Sciences building for Southwestern College in National City, CA.



Michelle DiLello
Blue Medium Inc.