West Los Angeles College

Student Service Annex
West Los Angeles College, California

West Los Angeles College is a medium-sized community college located adjacent to Culver City on the west side of Los Angeles. The institution is currently undergoing an expansion and rennovation of it campus. we were invited to design the new student services annex building. The program includes a student store, coffeehouse, and public gathering area. The new building had to respond to three mandates: to be constructed of quality materials, have a strong architectural presence along the pedestrian mall, and initiate a new vision for the campus.
The new building is currently being studied as a single, strong form composed of a folded, almost origami-like steel roof that lifts, floats and extends to unify the different activities that occur beneath it. Coffeehouse, indoor and outdoor seating areas, and the convenience store will be gathered together to make a social nexus for students, faculty and visitors. Sightlines from the mall and from the parking structures located on the hill above mandate that all views of the new building be compelling and inviting.

Project credits:
Russell Thomsen, Eric Kahn, Ron Golan, Brian De Luna, Erin Lani, Scott Chung, Brian Fraumeni.





About Russell Thomsen

A founding partner in the award winning Central Office of Architecture (COA, 1987-2008) and IDEA Office (2009-2014), Russell Thomsen formed RNThomsen Architecture in 2015. He has been a licensed architect since 1989. The office provides a full range of architectural services. In addition to directing the practice, Russell is also a senior design studio faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in downtown Los Angeles. The work of the office has been internationally recognized, exhibited and published. The office has received several awards including the Architectural League Prize and Emerging Voices, both from the Architectural League of New York, and the Best In American Architecture Award for the Saitama Residence.