University of Southern California Iovine Young Academy

“The newly opened Iovine and Young Hall is a three-floor, 40,000-square-foot manifestation of the vision that its music entrepreneurs had for a school at the intersection of arts and technology. The concept of intersection is even incorporated into its design of the building. It is geographically located where the historic northeast-angled streets of the USC campus meet the north-south street grid of modern-day Los Angeles. A grand central stairway sits at the junction point. The new building’s interior design reflects the academy’s mission “because the school is collaborative,” says Iovine.” – Billboard Magazine

When USC’s Iovine Young Academy was established in 2013, it was envisioned as a daring new “educational startup” at the intersection of four essential areas: art and design, engineering and computer science, business and venture management, and communications. Connecting students with instructors and professional mentors to foster creativity, critical thinking, and relationship-building, IYA’s innovative program has earned acclaim in both the academic and business worlds.
IYA’s popularity quickly created a need for larger accommodations that could better adapt to an interdisciplinary and changeable curriculum. In 2016, USC engaged FF&P to design a purpose-built, permanent home for the Academy.
The vision for the 28,000-square-foot Iovine Young Hall grew out of a rigorous programming and concept design effort conducted with brightspot strategy and in partnership with IYA’s leadership, faculty, and students. The result is a state-of-the-art facility for instruction, design and fabrication, conversation and teaming, and the chance meetings that spark inspiration. Just inside Iovine Young Hall’s front door is an open space that serves as a gathering spot for everything from lectures and formal presentations to social events. An integral feature of the space is a grand stair. More than a means for circulation or seating for events, its shape and configuration express the connection between Los Angeles—which is oriented on one axis—and USC, which is oriented on another.
While Iovine Young Hall’s red brick and glass exterior blends with surrounding campus buildings and honors the USC campus’s collegiate gothic architectural vernacular, the building’s interior is conceived as a loft-like maker space that is flexible enough to accommodate IYA’s ever-evolving pedagogy and programs. FF&P worked directly with the general contractor to design building systems that, while tailored to the specialty shop equipment needed today, are adaptable for future equipment and uses. Wide windows, movable furniture, wall-sized white boards, and informal workspaces are open to organic transformation.