Edie and Lew Wasserman Building, UCLA

A thoughtful architectural intervention completes a central campus quad while providing an uplifting setting for cutting-edge research and critical care.

The building enhances the image of one of the country’s leading eye care centers. It is designed to meet the specialized technical demands of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, efficiently augmenting the institute’s capacity for innovative research and medical care and creating a comfortable experience for patients and their families. At the same time, it has been envisioned as a major campus-infill project, strategically placed to unify two existing buildings constructed on the UCLA campus in the 1960s and creating an important new public space

The project’s position, proportion, orientation and scale create an outdoor room with terraced landscapes, clearly orienting visitors to the main entrances of the expanded three-building complex. The approach to the building is enhanced by a landscaped arrival garden and passenger drop-off plaza. Canopies, lighting, and coordinated graphics enhance the patient arrival experience, and smooth the transition into the state-of-the-art treatment spaces housed within the building’s six stories.

The building’s exterior smoothly blends terracotta and concrete with transparent glazing, introducing plentiful natural light into the interior while also integrating the new architecture with the site by developing important continuity with the colors and textures of the surrounding campus. The selected building materials are also durable, easy to maintain, and have a small environmental footprint, contributing to the building’s LEED Gold certification.