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Sticks & Stones

Woodbury University Studio Building
Burbank, CA
Woodbury University required a new architectural studio building to complete the existing architecture department. A new 19,000 sq ft. two-story building houses architectural studios, critique spaces, support spaces, and a double-height multi-purpose room.

As the most visible building on the campus’ perimeter, the building mediates the public view and private use of the campus. The south façade is a large-scale gesture to passing motorists that curves and wraps the building. Varying patterns of concrete masonry units compose the wall and the stacked blocks create a large-scale, changing pattern of subtle shadings as the sunlight moves across the south façade during the day.

The north façade opens the building to the existing department and provides a porous edge to a new courtyard formed by the existing studio building to the north. To connect the new structure to the existing complex, the north façade employs smaller-scale layering of vertical elements.

In the bulk of the building, programmatic space for architecture students extends across two floors. Insulated walls with gypsum drywall provide pin-up surfaces and interior finish stops short of the structural ceiling to expose the structural concrete masonry unit walls on the inside of the building. Exposed construction and mechanical components of the building serve as teaching tools for the architecture students and include structural steel beams that extend from the studios to hold the cantilevered balcony and roof, metal decking that forms the structural floor and roof, hanging wire management ladders for electrical and data cable routing, roof drain pipes, metal ducting and DuctSox for the HVAC system, sprinkler pipes, and pendant lighting. as Rios Clementi Hale Studios.

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