Case Study: Mid-Century Modern at UCLA’s Boulevard Apartments

In Blog, case study, Design Resource by Morgan Dix

Summary: UCLA Housing and UCLA Medical joined forces to buy a beautiful and stylish new apartment complex for their medical staff and graduate students. DCI furnished the apartment complex with a new premium mid-century modern solid wood collection on an accelerated timeline. 

Case Study: Mid Century Modern at UCLA

Project Name: Boulevard Apartments

Project Location: Los Angeles, CA

Dates: June 2020

Project Size: 122 bedroom sets, 70 dining sets

Building Type: Graduate and Faculty Housing

Project Team: UCLA Design Team, DCI

Product List: Bed, Desk, Nightstand, Dining Table & Chairs, Sofa, Lounge Chair, Coffee Table, Side Table, Media Console

Mid Century Design

At DCI, we are big fans of Mid Century Modern (MCM) design. Recently, we had an exciting opportunity to develop a new furniture product line based on classic MCM design principles for UCLA.

Set and Setting

UCLA Boulevard ApartmentsIn early 2020, UCLA Housing, in a joint venture with UCLA Medical, purchased a new contemporary apartment complex on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Los Angeles. 

Acquired for UCLA Medical’s hospital staff—medical residents, fellows, and interns—the complex featured some mid-century architectural motifs.

The school wanted to furnish the apartments with complimentary MCM furniture.

Blending Style & Durability 

DCI was contracted to supply the furniture.

Our task was to engineer a solution that balanced mid century utilitarian elegance with the kind of durability necessary for an institutional high traffic context.

Based on inspiration images provided by the University, we developed a fresh and completely original collection.

Design Highlights

Rather than using a cherry stain on one of our typical wood selections (ash, oak, maple), we chose to differentiate this collection with solid cherry wood.

Solid cherry enhanced the look and feel of the furniture. The natural color of the wood is a cornerstone of the style and beauty of the collection.

The decision to go with solid cherry also improves the overall durability of the product line. Because there is no stain to scratch.

In contrast, most institutional cherry furniture is not truly cherry, rather it’s stained a cherry color.

Navigating Pandemic Uncertainty

Like so many companies right now, DCI is operating in the midst of the uncertainty and upheaval catalyzed by the pandemic.

Supply chains all over the world are compromised. Shipping and freight is unreliable and impacts our delivery promise.

This project started in April, as the pandemic was picking up speed and the United States was shutting down.

We had 45 days to source material, manufacture, deliver, and install the furniture.

That is an accelerated schedule under the most stable and favorable circumstance. In the pandemic context, it was a race fraught with perilous pitfalls.

There was another variable. The order included fully upholstered furniture which we had never made for UCLA before. 

The result? 

We think the pictures speak for themselves. Click on individual images to enlarge.




Boulevard Bed and Nightstand