Art Center College of Design | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Art Center College of Design

The bridge building at Art Center College of Design’s hillside campus is often described as designer Craig Ellwood’s swansong. Ellwood himself said, “It is the favorite among my non-residential completed buildings, and the one about which I feel most proud, most proprietary.”

Craig Ellwood dreamed of building a house that suspended across a canyon like a bridge for almost two decades before a client with the perfect site came to his office.

The designer’s reputation for Modern buildings that were completed within tight budgets impressed the college. The bridge form happened to be the most economical solution to the school’s hilly, canyon site; leveling the land would have would have required an expensive foundation. The resulting bridge building is 192 feet across at its longest point. Despite Ellwood’s reputation for efficiency, inflation in the early 1970s caused the price of steel to rise. Cost-cutting measures were taken with the air conditioning units and roof system, which failed and had to be replaced five years after the building’s completion in 1976.

Ultimately, the building took nearly six years to complete, during which Ellwood, approaching retirement, became more and more detached from the day-to-day design work in his office. His associate Jim Tyler acted as project architect and is thought by many to have been the principal designer of the innovative building. Tyler continued his relationship with Art Center in later years, designing later additions on the campus under the auspices of his own firm.

The Art Center bridge building would be one of the final commissions of Craig Elwood Associates; the firm closed in 1977 when Elwood moved to Italy to become a painter.

Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

University Elementary School

With the school's philosophy of "learning by doing" in mind, the two sections of the campus sit on either side of a ravine, leaving the natural space undisturbed for use as a learning environment.
Zenith Tower
Photo by Devri Richmond

Zenith Tower

A distinctive Late Modern building that deserves a second look, Zenith Tower's architect, Maxwell Starkman, was one of the first combination architect-developers which put methods of production on equal footing with pure design.
Photo by Roger Davies

Kronish House

One of only three Richard Neutra designs ever built in Beverly Hills, the Kronish House is reportedly Neutra's largest residential commission in North America.