Home About Awards Events News Resources Certification Projects Construction Tilt-Up Products Directory login

Design and Construction of The UCLA Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios

October 7, 2020 from 10:30am to 11:30am Central Standard Time

Courtois Auditorium

Lindsay Erickson

The UCLA Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios completed in September 2019, focuses on the renovation and expansion of an existing 21,200 sq ft bowstring warehouse. Located in the industrial Hayden Tract of Culver City since 1986, the facility needed a cohesive renovation and additional space to include artist studios, lab spaces, shared exhibition spaces, an artist-in-residence loft, and three covered exterior yards. Designed for LEED Gold certification, the building prioritized an integrated approach to design rather than one that tacks on layers of sustainable technology. Thick walls eliminate the need for waterproofing and insulation and minimize the construction footprint and waste. Covered, unconditioned work yards and gardens filter daylight with polycarbonate roof panels to minimize heat gain and allow for passive ventilation.

The design of the 48,000 sq ft facility used the existing 1935 cast in place bowstring truss building as a point of departure to create a cohesive experience that unified old and new structures. The addition utilized multiple types of concrete assemblies to deliberately respond to the industrial surroundings: from shotcrete blindside walls, to cast in place interior partitions, to distinctive tilt-up concrete walls tied together with cast in place stitch columns that define the building’s pillowed facade.


  • Assess the benefits of tilt up in constrained urban sites.
  • Recognize the importance of mockups when evaluating construction means and methods.
  • Identify complex geometries that require unique formwork and rebar solutions.
  • Recommend tilt up construction for atypical design applications.

UCLA Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios by Johnston Marklee. Photo by Iwan Baan.

Browse by Event Track / FULL SCHEDULE