home to the Gorillas
Bottom Left: Instrumental studio
Bottom Right: Magnolia Boulevard entry elevation showing stepped roof
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
Dance and Athletic Center
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.