merit award

Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television

Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Project Location: Los Angeles, California

Photographer: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

The School of Film and Television (SFTV) is a four-story jewel box-like building, hosting stop-motion and camera-directing studios, technical labs for post-production and animation, flexible all-purpose classrooms, office spaces, and an 80-seat theater. Clad in a perforated brise-soleil, the building makes the most of LA’s climate, offering shaded outdoor circulation and gathering spaces. The theater, clad in matte metallic panels, activates the ground level. Canary yellow furnishings accentuate the theater’s rooftop and courtyard gardens.

‘”Very compelling resolution on a tight budget. The façade treatment is subtle, elegant and inspires active engagement by the users.” – 2022 Design Awards Jury

Design for Integration

The SFTV is a campus focal point, that promotes environmental and human health with ample outdoor space, and active design. By placing all circulation and student lounge space on the exterior of the building, the design reduced the area requiring air distribution by 40%, ultimately yielding exceptionally low HVAC demand. In addition to the 9,500 square feet of passing space and cafe-style seating, the building boasts two areas that function as outdoor classrooms.

Design for Equitable Communities

LMU’s student community will benefit from the social spaces and theater. While LMU is a private campus, they frequently hold public and community events which the theater and pre-function courtyard was designed to accommodate.

Loyola Marymount University operates a private bus system to and from the adjacent communities to reduce dependence on personal vehicles.

Design for Ecosystems

In an effort to restore the regional ecosystem, native plantings were used throughout the landscaping. The project increased the number of trees on the site, planting more than removed during construction.

Outdoor classrooms and outdoor circulation encourage connection to the local ecosystem while minimizing the need for conditioned spaces. By placing 9,500 square feet of passing space and cafe-style seating outside, the design reduced the area requiring air distribution by 40%.

Design for Water

The SFTV Building is outfitted with a greywater drainage system that deposits into a pipe system that is connected to a campuswide greywater system that is under-development.

All plantings were low-water and drought tolerant. A drip irrigation system provides the minimum amount of water needed to feed the plantings on the terrace and surrounding grounds.

This project has a negligible hot water load, making a central service hot water system unnecessary.

Design for Economy

The dense Audio Visual teaching program with its typical high energy demand and cooling requirements, was offset by a sustainable building envelope, passive cooling strategies and optimized mechanical systems which yielded a very high performing, yet cost effective, building.

Design for Energy

The Energy Use Intensity is 21.9 kBtu/sf considering the total building area, considering only the conditioned area the EUI is 34.0 kBtu/sf. A modern variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system was selected for its zone-specific optimization benefits

The lighting strategy for the building reduced the Light Power Density (LPD) to .57 Watts per square foot. This is nearly half of the California T-24 allowable LPD. LPD reductions yielded a savings of ~18,000 kWh/yr against the ASHRAE Baseline.

Design for Well-being

Courtyard spaces and breezeways provide students with sustained access to the outdoors year-round while external circulation provides crucial access to daylight and natural ventilation. These outdoor spaces deliver options of how and where one can learn, teach and recharge. When needed, these spaces support pandemic safety compliance by offering open-air programmed space. In addition, these outdoor areas are prime examples of biophilic design that provide direct access to nature nearly year round.

Design for Resources

A structural embodied carbon LCA was conducted, and the result is 246 kg CO2/m2. The post-tensioned slab thickness tapers in the cantilevered portions of the building to reduce the amount of concrete used.

Material selections were made based on need and performance. The structural slab was utilized as the finish floor material in all circulation zones. A conscious effort was made to select materials that had an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) certification.

Design for Change

A basic tenant of the clients design brief was that the building must be adaptable to future uses. By analyzing the clients preferred teaching modules across all of their programs, a set of space modules were used to organize and stack the program. The classroom modules accommodate LMU’s typical class size for any department and are coupled with robust storage. Furniture selections are consistent and mobile; they can be quickly reconfigured, or relocated to other rooms or storage.

Design for Discovery

Extensive time spent on campus experiencing the culture and frequently meeting with the client group (faculty, staff and students) has proven to address many issues, quantitative and qualitative, above and beyond the given scope of the project. The end result is much more than an academic classroom building.The final project gives staff, faculty and students options of how they want to teach, learn and recharge. It has become a social hub for the university at large.

AIA California
AIA California
Celebrating over 75 years of service, the AIA California actively promotes the value of design and advocates for the architectural profession. AIA CA is an association of 11,000 dedicated and passionate members who share a commitment to design excellence and livability in California’s natural and built environments.

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