UCLA was founded in 1919 as the southern and second campus in the University of California system. Occupying a 419-acre urban campus with 163 buildings, UCLA receives more applications per year than any other school registering 119,000 in 2017.
UCLA is a top-ranked public research university with an endowment of $2.06b and an annual budget of $6.7b which funds six undergraduate colleges, seven professional schools, and four professional health science schools and a thriving profile of NCAA division one athletic teams.
With 31,000 undergrads and 13,000 postgrads, the school offers 337 degree programs. It was ranked by US News & World Report as the #1 public university in the United States in 2017-2018. It was also ranked 15th in the world for academics by the The Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
In terms of distinctions among faculty, students, and alumni, they are legion and include 24 Nobel laureates, 3 Fields Medalists, and 5 Turing Award winners to list a few. The accounting of distinguished graduates and their accomplishments, contributions, and awards is simply too great to list.
PROCESS & APPROACH
When we started working with University Apartments team, we had a few goals for this project.
First, we worked directly with Shirley Wong, the Head of University of Apartments, to develop a fresh design standard for graduate and undergraduate housing.
Second, the university had an enrollment surge and needed a solution to manage high-density occupancy.
1. Establishing A New Design Standard
We tailored a completely custom set of furniture for University Apartments. The genesis for the design came from furniture samples which Shirley Wong had seen in a retail showroom.
From this inspiration, we worked to design a contemporary collection with super clean lines blending sustainable solid maple hardwood with recycled steel.
The striking new designed formed the basis of a new off-campus minimalist standard and yielded two of our most popular collections: Landfair and Breeze.
We worked very closely with the UCLA team to establish this new design standard for all of their furniture. In time, this new style would become UCLA’s standard for a huge number of apartments.
Here are some of the specifics. For the lounge furniture, we crafted coffee tables, end tables, and tv stands featuring metal sled bases and solid maple wood tops.
In the bedroom we fashioned a simple desk with metal legs and a mobile pedestal to maximize storage and flexibility. The bed, with solid wood bed ends, featured an inverted tubular rail which allowed capacious hardwood stackable storage cabinets underneath.
Both the mobile pedestal and the storage cabinets had cut out drawer fronts to minimize hardware.
With regular renovations, new apartments, and annual turnover, we install a few hundred sets of this sustainable furniture ensemble every year at UCLA.
2. Creating Space In High Density
In 2017, University Apartments approached us with a unique dilemma. Because of an unexpected surge in enrollment, their units were cramped and they needed more space.
Could we design a solution to help them make more room in the unit?
We custom designed a drop-lid desk, which was multi functional. On one hand, it provided ample storage while also serving as a fold down desk.
The desktop could fold up to minimize it’s overall footprint and then fold down during study time. And it was lockable.
Project Location: Westwood, Los Angeles
Dates: 2014 & 2017
Project Size: 500 fully furnished studio apartments
Building Type: Multi-purpose Graduate Student Housing
Project Team: UCLA, Studios Architects, Rick Pulley
Product List: Bed with Underbed Storage, Desk with floating pedestal, Chair, Nesting Tables, SideTable/bookshelf
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