The Santa Monica College Center for Media and Design / Clive Wilkinson Architects

The Santa Monica College Center for Media and Design / Clive Wilkinson Architects

© Michael Moran

© Michael Moran© Michael Moran© Michael Moran© Michael Moran+ 24



  • AreaArea of ​​this architecture project Area:
    115,000 ft²
  • Year of completion of this architectural project


  • photosPhotos: Michael Moran
  • Manufacturer brands with products used in this architecture project Manufacturer: Swisspearl, Arcadia Inc., Carlisle wide plank floors, Delay lighting, Haworth, interface, J + J floor pan, Lightolier, Regulatory lighting, Pulp studio, Vista color, Wilson partitions, MACHINE, Milliken, iGuzzini lighting

© Michael Moran© Michael Moran

Text description of the architects. The Santa Monica College (SMC) Center for Media and Design (CMD) is a renovation and extension of the school’s old Academy of Entertainment & Technology. The 3.5 hectare project includes the construction of a 30,000 square meter teaching wing and the renovation of an existing 50,000 square meter teaching facility; a new three-story building for KCRW, a school-licensed public radio station; and a new, seven-story parking garage. In the center of the complex there is an inner courtyard with water features and a performance stage. Located in ‘Silicon Beach’ – home to major media companies and technology startups – the CMD enables the school to bring all of its programs focused on media content development and design together on one campus.

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Our design process began with an intense phase of curriculum analysis, classroom visits, factory tours, customer workshops, and vision meetings. It became clear early on that the client saw the apprenticeship training alone as insufficient preparation for a constantly changing world, as it was becoming increasingly difficult for the students to apply scientific knowledge in the workplace. After several weeks of vision work, the design team realized that the basic idea that unites CMD and KCRW is storytelling. Therefore, we have set ourselves the goal of creating an architecture that functions as a narrative vehicle and shapes the campus into a sequence of experiences that shows education as a progressive cycle. The three buildings and the central courtyard represent a student’s transition from higher education to the professional world through the following narrative:

© Michael Moran© Michael MoranFloor plan - 1st floor Floor plan – 1st floor© Michael Moran© Michael Moran

  1. Renovated media technology building: arrival + development

The renovated 50,000-square-meter building, which received a complete interior design, consists of classrooms and offices distributed along a central path marked by an unfolding yellow ribbon. Glass walls inside maximize light and transparency in the classrooms and show the ideas of the students.

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  1. New media technology expansion: experiment + discover

The unfolding ribbon continues in the 30,000 square meter extension, where students can explore their ideas and experiment with them in professional workspaces. The two-story teaching facility now has a 180-seat auditorium, a large production room with control booths, multiple editing suites for post-production, high-end computer rooms and a radio room, in addition to classrooms, collaboration rooms and a variety of student support services and facilities .

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  1. New KCRW media center: maturation + practical application

The new 34,000 square meter media center is the first time in its 35-year history that KCRW will have an independent building. An outdoor stage, a spectator gallery and a large performance studio offer the community more opportunities to engage with the station through events. As a professional center for media convergence, KCRW is the ideal and logical endpoint of this narrative. Characterized by a similar internal path and open work spaces, the station will share its resources to foster creative collaboration and educational reciprocity.

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  1. Courtyard: creative collaboration + educational reciprocity

The new 18,000 square meter courtyard combines all of these experiences. With a café, event infrastructure, and supporting landscaping, this central space encourages collaboration and interaction and enables all CMD programs to publicly merge into a single creative community.

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