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with a landscaped courtyard and flanked by steps and a ramp. However,
funding was available only for the first--the MacDonald Medical
Research Laboratories. Now the two conduct a lively dialogue across
the intervening space, with its raised planters doubling as benches
for alfresco lunches.
architects have created a splendid street facade, with flat stone
arches and variegated brickwork evoking the Romanesque masonry of
Royce Hall and the Powell Library, looking across the boulevard
to the Chiller/Cogeneration Plant, another functional building with
a decorative skin. Purists may object to this fancy dress (Robert
Venturi describes such work as "painted sheds"), but it
fulfills the goal set by campus architect Duke Oakley to restore
to UCLA a sense of consistency and urbanity that was lost during
the earlier eras of expansion. Gonda is an important building block
that strengthens the north-south axis, helps define the street line,
and puts a fresh spin on a rich architectural tradition.
sense of invention doesn't stop at the front door. Most of the interior
is occupied by light-filled modular laboratories and service areas,
which were designed by Lee, Burkhart, Liu architects of Los Angeles.
But Venturi Scott Brown have drawn on their expertise in this specialized
field to create a lounge area on each floor behind the folded steel
and glass windows on the south side of the building. Upholstered
benches follow a zig-zag course below the sun baffles, offering
spectacular views over Westwood and a place where researchers from
different fields can meet informally and use the inner wall as a
bonus for occupants is the contemporary art, selected and installed
by consultant Merry Norris in the reception area and in each elevator
lobby. Inside, as out, art and science achieve a harmonious balance
in the Gonda Center.