Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Edie and Lew Wasserman Building, University of California

Los Angeles, California

2009 - 2014

The six-story, 100,000 square-foot Edie and Lew Wasserman Building is designed to meet the specialized technical demands of the Jules Stein Eye Institute. This highly crafted campus-infill project efficiently augments the institute’s capacity for cutting-edge research and critical care, creates a comfortable experience for patients and their families, and successfully enhances the image of one of the country’s leading eye care centers.

The placement and massing of this new structure unifies two existing buildings constructed on the UCLA campus in the 1960s. The project’s position, proportion, orientation and scale create an outdoor room with terraced landscapes, which clearly orientates visitors to the expanded three-building complex’s main entrances. Canopies, lighting and coordinated graphics enhance the patient arrival experience.

The south elevation of this new facility reflects the scale and structural cadence of the existing building façade directly across the arrival garden. The transparency of the south elevation makes the elevator lobby and clinic waiting areas visible from the approach garden and passenger drop-off plaza. Once inside, patients benefit from daylighted seating areas with unobstructed views of the surrounding landscape. As essential to the project’s palette as the terracotta, stone, carpet and, millwork, and furniture, harnessed natural light shapes each public interior space and contributes to the project’s rich and inviting architectural experience. The building’s exterior terracotta and concrete surfaces integrate the new architectural elements with the site’s original structures and develop important color and textural continuity with the campus context.

The environmentally responsible Wasserman building is LEED Gold certified. The project benefits from a long span building structure, which reduces the number of columns, in order to allow adaptable floor plans that minimize future renovation expenses. Energy efficiency is achieved through proper form and solar orientation, innovative building envelope and mechanical system design, and the specification of advanced building operations and monitoring equipment. All selected building materials are durable, easy to maintain, and have a small environmental footprint.

Credits