USC Faculty Center

The Faculty Center at the University of Southern California provides meeting and banquet facilities, an outdoor cafe and grill, dining and social interaction for members and guests of the University. The addition to an existing building creates a walled precinct with clearly defined boundaries. Its domestic scale and inward focus provide a respite from the institutional buildings that dominate the campus and a place of orientation and community.

The design is an assemblage of elements, each having an independent programmatic and architectural identity, that combine to form a larger order. Elemental architectural forms identify and house the various special rooms of the Center; they are grouped around a common courtyard as the houses of a village are organized around a square. Forms are re-ordered and articulated to differentiate path from room, to clarify circulation patterns, and to take advantage of extensions to the outdoors.

Spatial sequences are set between wall and frame. The entry frames delineate a path between two opposing walls. The roof frames of the meeting rooms flanking the north entry define a covered zone and emphasize the primary circulation from the entry to the courtyard. The roof of the arcade is cantilevered from concrete columns that support a steel spine and form the armature of the project.