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Galef Center for Fine Arts and Ben Maltz Gallery
Frederick Fisher and Partners

November 04, 2002 /

Los Angeles, California, USA

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An open site, adjacent to the original building on Lincoln Boulevard, was selected by the College to accommodate the new 40,000-square-feet studio/gallery building.

Otis College of Art & Design, founded in 1918 near downtown Los Angeles, moved to its current West Los Angeles location in 1997. The existing seven story office building, designed by Elliot Noyes in 1965, served many of the school's functions well, but its low ceilings and lack of adequate daylight made it inadequate for a number of important functions.

The new studio building now houses large-scale sculpture, painting, drawing, ceramic and video studios, critique rooms and offices.  It also houses the Ben Maltz Gallery for traveling professional shows as well as the Bolsky Gallery for student exhibitions.

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We conceived the Otis studio building as an art factory based on the ethos of art making.  The structure is simple, tough, flexible, open and practical with an emphasis on daylight./ Fred Fisher

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The building is sheathed in silver-painted corrugated aluminium. This visually active material, which reflects the sky and landscape, was selected for its reference to industrial structures.  The ground-level studios feature floor-to-ceiling glazing, which affords students views of outside activities, and those outdoors a glimpse of activity inside.

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galef_center_6Image courtesy Frederick Fisher and Partners

Each of the building's four elevations has its own distinct, graphic composition, reflecting the variety of activities occurring on the inside of the building.

Large expanses of glass open up the metal cube to daylight and views, creating abstract patterns of solid and void on the building's surface.   External staircases and a glass-enclosed elevator tower provide a dynamic counterpoint to these flattened, collage-like elevations.

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The building's orientation on the site, angled with respect to the existing building and Lincoln Boulevard, establishes three main triangular outdoor areas which extend the functions of the building into the landscape, creating an entry plaza, outdoor work area, and an outdoor exhibition space.

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Square in plan, the building is designed to achieve maximum economy and flexibility. The structural frame has only four interior columns per 20,000-square-feet floor, allowing for modifications to interior wall to accommodate varied modes of art making. Daylight functions as a predominant material in all areas of the building.

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Image courtesy Frederick Fisher and Partners

Facts about Galef Center for Fine Arts and Ben Maltz Gallery

Project Size:

40,000 ft2

Frederick Fisher, Principal
Joseph Coriaty, Partner
Brent Eckerman, Associate
John Berley
Bianca Spies
Daniel Herman
Koray Duman
Wendi Gilbert
Jae Shin

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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