Southwest College School of Career and Technical Education1600 West Imperial Highway
Los Angeles, CA 90044
Design Achievement – The Southwest College School of Career and Technical Education geometrical configurations literally open the space to students while welcoming the neighboring community to utilize its resources. The building provides practical, hands-on training to diverse, multi-generational user groups in a safe and inviting campus facility. DLR Group's design for the new building helps re-brand this Los Angeles Community College District campus as a vibrant, forward-thinking 21st century institution. With its prominent facades and highly visible gateways, the building announces its presence to the public and engages users approaching from both north and south. Large expanses of glass and open-air corridors, lobbies, and courtyards exhibit the professional training and instruction taking place on the inside. The multi-purpose auditorium and conference rooms, which are accessed directly off a primary open-air corridor, support campus-wide and community usage. Research and testing labs are situated on the first floor, next to the open-air central core. The highly visible southeast corner of the second level, which contains classrooms and faculty offices, protrudes outward toward the campus.
Scope Summary – The scope for the 53,655 SF Career and Technical Education building included classrooms, an Environmental and Technical Science Program, Business Department offices, and a Career and Workforce Development Center. The building embodies the concept of Building as Teacher and is a showcase for sustainability features. Visible wind turbines demonstrate on-site renewable energy production. Open-air and naturally-ventilated corridors introduce maximum natural daylight and reduce energy costs. Bioswales and retention ponds are integrated into the landscape and walkways. Flexible porous paving facilitates drainage and allows low-maintenance service access to the ground-floor research and testing labs. A sustainability kiosk, mural and instructional area inform students and community members about sustainable practices. DLR Group provided architecture and interior design services.