Annenberg School of Communication

Los Angeles, California / United States of America

Aesthetic choices for this project were measured against one core concept,  imagining the new building as a century old gothic structure transformed into a 21st century academic building. This transformation is realized as a contemporary core within a historic envelope.

Instead of setting the exterior windows within the concrete surrounds, they are set behind and separate from the envelope, suggesting the character of a gothic ruin through which the intervention is visible.  Much of the interior glazing is colored and patterned to reference stained glass and provide privacy to the buildings occupants. Sunlight passing through colored panes creates a constant play of light that energizes the central atrium throughout the day.

Connected but not contained programmed areas are featured throughout the 85,000 SF building. Flexible learning spaces that foster creativity, innovation and collaboration accommodate different size groups and varied learning methodologies.  Zones outside traditional learning spaces allow for serendipitous encounters and a free exchange of ideas. . These “in-between spaces” were developed for study, gathering and spontaneous interaction within the interior environment each rich with integrated and interactive technological resources and media.

Architect of Record

Harley Ellis Devereaux


University of Southern California

General Contractor



  • Nabih Youssef Associates
  • Harley Ellis Devereaux
  • Sand Hill Media and Associates