USC Social Justice Research

James McLeish, B.Arch '21


ARCH 500A: Comprehensive Architectural Design

Gallery: Social Equity in Tall Timber

Instructor: Warren Techentin

The USC Social Justice Center, located in Leimert Park, hosts a wide array of programs: justice research offices, social service offices, community engagement spaces such as exhibition spaces, meeting rooms, a public park and multiple raised terraces for the residents of the neighborhood. Floor B1-03 is publicly accessible to anyone; floor 02-03 are where the community engagement spaces are located. It was very important in this project to create a building that connected seamlessly to the existing urban fabric and extended it. The shifted floor plates create terraces with views to the North, South, and East (these were the best sites from higher elevations). The Greek concept of Siting was very important in this building’s design strategy. The prevailing winds to the west/southwest further informed the building’s orientation. The rotated masses work to capture high velocity winds to cool the building, these winds are processed by a undulating perforated steel facade system with colored glass. The building is meant to stand tall like a monument, a beacon to draw individuals in and take advantage of the social services the building has to offer. Is is also a place to simply relax during a lunch break.


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