The SCI-Arc Expansion design epitomizes the institutional building typology as a pedagogical archetype. It understands, first and foremost, that an architecture school is a dialogue between production and theory. With few precedents, Western architecture schools have centered their designs around the importance of the studio space. The Expansion thus appeals to multiple work models: the open office, larger congregational spaces, as well as private study/lounge spaces inside the aperture "pods."
In order to maximize the interactivity between studios and other curricula, the design sought to physically intersect the building volumes and thus spatially dramatize the programmatic adjacencies. It subdivides the site into two formal conditions: the radial and the linear. The two conditions join around a central volume, which houses the library, auditorium, and gallery, representing the discourse and identity of the school. The interstitial membrane that joins the volumes hybridizes the circulation and informal presentation spaces--a nod to the "corridor" of SCI-Arc's second home, the old train depot located beside the Expansion site in downtown LA.