October 10, 2022
ArtCenter College of Design recently broke ground on 908 Shops, a spacious new facility which, once completed in the fall of 2023, will provide students with a cornucopia of state-of-the-art fabrication tools. Located on the College’s existing South Campus property at 908 S. Raymond Ave. between California Blvd. and Glenarm St. in Pasadena, 908 Shops is part of the College’s Master Plan.
“The process of ‘making’ is an integral part of our curriculum,” said ArtCenter President Karen Hofmann, an industrial designer herself, about the new facility. “I’m excited about this new space that will provide our students with the ideal resources they’ll need to develop their creative and technical skills to the fullest.”
New Building Detail
The cost of the 908 Shops project is being funded by tax exempt bonds issued by the College through the California Educational Facilities Authority. The facility is pre-engineered which is a cost-savings building process. The building’s frame is steel and the siding is metal panels made of recycled content. The total enclosed space measures 18,560 square feet with an additional 1,316 square feet of covered outdoor work area plus a 5,019 square foot courtyard.
908 Shops will include a 5,000-square-foot mezzanine for instructional and lab classes while the ground floor will house industrial workspaces in which students will be able to produce works in any medium. Students from across the College will learn to use professional equipment in spaces such as a wood shop, a composite fabrication room, a foam room, multiple paint booths, a metal/welding room and a room containing a 5-axis mill to manufacture complex shapes.
Thanks to the 908 Shops’ expanded space both indoors and outdoors, students will soon be able to create larger class projects. Large-scale fine art structures, full-scale car models and furniture are a few examples of the work that will be easier to produce in the new space.
A single-story, pre-engineered metal building designed in collaboration with The Land Office, the 908 Shops’ north-oriented façade will feature an exterior cladding of metal panels as well as a variety of glazed surfaces—including a prominent entry—that will allow light to enter the building’s interior spaces. The roof will slope the entire width of the building towards the south, and will house all the necessary mechanical equipment and be screened by a parapet wall.
The building will provide a variety of work spaces including shops, fabrication labs and painting spray booths. Outdoor work spaces, directly accessible from the interior, include an open-air fabrication space to the south and a covered spray booth area at the northeast. A series of large overhead and roll-up doors along the north and south facades allow a seamless transition of these work spaces from interior to exterior. The roll-up doors will also allow large-scale works to be moved throughout the building.
Honoring the History of the Land
Since the 908 Shops construction site is located on the historical lands of the Gabrieleño Native American tribe, ArtCenter collaborated with the Gabrieleños, a California Indian tribe also known as the Gabrieleño Band of Mission Indians-Kizh Nation, to monitor excavation and protect any artifacts that might have been uncovered during construction.
“We prioritized the protection of these cultural resources and we’re committed to work with the Gabrieleño Indian Tribe to properly care for any artifacts and features that might have been encountered by our construction crews during excavation,” said Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Aaron Bruce.
Explaining the tribe’s role in the excavation process, Tribal Biologist Matthew Teutimez said, “We hope we don’t find any cultural resources during these ground disturbing activities but the benefit of having a Native monitor on site is being able to identify, discover and efficiently process anything that may be uncovered in a traditional and respectful way.”
“We're involved to protect these resources that both parties will benefit from,” Teutimez continued. “Our generation feels that this is our last chance to protect California's tribal heritage. These are the last remaining resources of the Gabrieleño people, which are older than the Roman, Greek, and even Egyptian cultures that we are taught about in school. That’s a major reason we are dedicated to work closely with ArtCenter.”
“We are the original indigenous people of the Los Angeles Basin,” added Chairman Andrew Salas. “We continue to protect and preserve our indigenous and ancestral lands including our plants and animals because they too were given the breath of life.”
First Ground-up Structure on South Campus
The new 908 Shops building on S. Raymond Ave. is the first ground-up construction project on ArtCenter’s South Campus following the repurposing of three existing buildings for student use. Those three facilities are the 950 S. Raymond building, the renovated former U.S. Postal Service building at 870 S. Raymond, and the 1111 S. Arroyo Parkway office building (the former Jacobs Engineering headquarters).
Del Amo Construction, an award-winning, privately owned construction company based in Southern California, is serving as the general contractor for the 908 Shops at South Campus. Given the highly visible location on ArtCenter’s South Campus, Del Amo Construction worked with the College to create a temporary barrier to South Raymond for the course of construction. Throughout the year-long construction, students will activate the barrier walls to investigate large scale urban projects. The current colorful and whimsical murals on the structure were created by Illustration students. Next up, will be students from Fine Art and then Graphic Design.
Del Amo Construction has previously completed work on behalf of ArtCenter within its historic Hillside Campus Ellwood Building and is currently involved in another major project on the South Campus—the Mullin Transportation Design Center.
“We’re proud to be a part of the ongoing transformation of ArtCenter’s South Campus,” said Steve Nakano, principal at Del Amo Construction and the project’s lead. “The 908 Shops are going to provide students with centralized production spaces, and we’re looking forward to bringing those to life for them during the next 18 months.”
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About Del Amo Construction Founded in 1968, Del Amo Construction takes a “construction concierge” approach in how it leads commercial and institutional projects across a range of markets. Del Amo Construction is known for its expertise in specialty construction, including historic renovations, adaptive reuse, seismic upgrades and modular/up-cycled container construction. Throughout the last 50 years, the award-winning company has built a legacy of trust and excellence, steadily expanding its portfolio with double-digit year-over-year growth. For more information, visit: delamoconstruction.com.
About ArtCenter College of Design Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and 10 graduate degrees in a wide variety of art and design disciplines. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves the general public through a highly regarded series of year-round online and on campus extension programs for all levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.
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