Gray Matters

This project is an addition to the library of an existing building at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. This building began as a turn-of-the-century Railway Depot along the Santa Fe rail line. This addition will house SCIarc’s growing collection of digital media, add to its ability to house print media, and create more gathering spaces for SCIarc’s faculty and students.

Due to the building’s original typology, the circulation of SCIarc is predominantly linear. This linear circulation creates a quarter-mile long corridor. This arrangement fuels the creative atmosphere of SCIarc by ensuring that ideas and people interact daily. The addition reimagines SCIarc’s linear concept by employing six tubular corridors that wrap themselves around, on top off,
and through the existing library. These corridors come together and separate to create large, medium, and small spaces that are utilized as public, semipublic, and private zones within the addition.

At the same time, the path of these corridor tubes are affected by the presence of rooftop patios. These patios reflect moments of disturbance within SCIarc’s primary circulation path. When students meet or studios critique in the primary corridor of SCIarc; circulation is pushed, deflected, or in some cases even stopped. The patios create moments of disturbance or deflection within the circulation arrangement.

Ideas of circulation and disturbance come together in the addition to create an overall whole. The project is not a replication of the existing condition but more of a re-envisioning of the concepts that are present within SCIarc’s circulation.

Southern California Institute of Architecture

Instructor: Dwayne Oyler