University of Southern California, International Residential College at Parkside

Los Angeles, California

  • FIRM

    CannonDesign

  • CLIENT

    University of Southern California

  • AREA

    137,575 sq.ft.

  • TOTAL COST

    $27,000,000.00

  • COMPLETION DATE

    1/2002

In support of an ambitious strategic plan for the 21st century, the University of Southern California developed a residential college that includes student living and dining, faculty residences, and recreational and social spaces, organized into a small community with a specific academic focus. As the first entirely new residential college, the International Residential ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY400COST PER SQ FT$169.40FEATURED IN2002 Architectural Portfolio at Parkside offers the opportunity for American and international students and faculty to live in an environment focused on the study and understanding of other cultures and national views.

The International Residential College at Parkside is a four-story building situated on the southwest corner of the USC campus adjacent to downtown Los Angeles. This prominent gateway living space accommodates 400 students, faculty, and residential advisers and visiting faculty; teaching space; collaborative study space; lounge and activity space; and dining facilities to accommodate 550. Arranged around an outdoor urban piazza at the juncture of a major north-south campus pedestrian way, the new facility establishes a much-needed campus edge. The orthogonal grid pattern of the campus core is extended to the angled campus perimeter streets of Vermont Avenue and Exposition Boulevard.

Like many universities, USC’s historic architectural and spatial character has been compromised by the insertion of abstract, out-of-scale modern buildings in the 50s, 60s and 70s. The architectural expression of the International Residential College at Parkside draws upon the best examples of the existing brick and stone, Tuscan-influenced campus vernacular, and extends the character and “brand” of the university to its southwest edge. Carefully scaled exterior walkways and pedestrian spaces link public and private spaces, as well as create balance between the exterior and interior.