Levin & Associates Architects
EDUCATION: Creating Place on Campus Gymnasium, home to the Gorillas
Instrumental studio Magnolia Boulevard entry elevation showing stepped roof profiles

Top: Gymnasium, home to the Gorillas

Bottom Left: Instrumental studio

Bottom Right: Magnolia Boulevard entry elevation showing stepped roof profiles

"The building confronted us with two impossible problems: first, an altogether unconventional combination of program functions (music, dance, and athletics); and second, the need for a massive volume of interior space, which posed a serious threat to Oakwood's familial scale. Levin solved both problems, partly by wedding form to function so skillfully and partly by designing the most graceful gymnasium I have ever entered. Like the "canopy" over the Math Science facility, the gently arched ceiling not only provides wonderful light but also a sense of shelter. Once again, she has recreated a home for us."

James Alan Astman, Headmaster, Oakwood School
Music, Dance and Athletic Center
Oakwood School
Completion 1999
North Hollywood (Los Angeles)
55,000 square feet

The two-story Music, Dance and Athletic Center, located across the street from Oakwood School's main campus, is the second school building designed by the firm.

Conforming to the area's Specific Plan guidelines, the structure's massing and curved-roof profiles are varied and stepped to harmonize with the scale of the surrounding residential neighborhood.

The exterior finishes are steel, masonry, stucco and glass and the interior features exposed, painted steel structure and ductwork, a reinforcement of the campus idiom established by the firm in 1994 with the Math Science building. Trees and flowering vines screen the boulevard frontage, presenting to the neighborhood a graceful face to what is, in actuality, a large, actively-programmed facility.

The gymnasium, weight and training rooms, lockers and showers, offices and support space are located on the first floor, and instrumental, choral and dance studios, and practice rooms on the second. The unique challenge has been to accomodate, in one facility located adjacent to a freeway, the special programmitic and acoustic requirements of these seemingly conflicting adjacencies.

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