Week 10 – Architecture & Urban Planning – FA4 Building


The east side of the FA4 building that I want to remodel.

Hey, guys, week 10 has come and gone! Why do I fell that soon enough we will all be filled with the dread of finals week? Oh, right, because finals are almost near. FML



The door to the stairs is hidden behind that column, next to the bushes. 

Well, to kickstart this week, I want to talk about an area of CSULB that is in dire need of a makeover. Almost all undergrad CSULB students can agree that upper campus is always full of student and that the LA buildings are a center for most classes. It doesn’t matter what major you are, chances are you have had most of your classes there. Well, we have our LA buildings on one side, and on the other, we have the FA buildings.  It’s almost like a hole in the wall type of place, in one of the less frequented areas of campus, but its trafficked nonetheless.


The FA buildings are mostly dedicated to the fine arts, and the SOA art galleries where artists come weekly to showcase their art. Not many people besides art students, or the occasional walker, come by to this area and therefore we see less commotion here. The FA buildings are architectural, normal. The FA4 building is the biggest of the FA buildings, holds the most art classes, and is also the most monotonous. There isn’t much going on there that would represent that it would be a hub for art students. But the design of the building as a whole is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the back of the FA4 building, in particular, the east side.

The east side of the FA4 building is like the back entrance is almost like a hole in the wall type of place, in one of the less frequented areas of campus, but its trafficked nonetheless. Walking towards the east side, you have the fine arts offices, a large tree, the main entrance to the ground floor, many bushes, and behind all of those bushes, a door to the stairs leading up to the second and third floors. The place for that door, in particular, is so blocked off and secluded that if you don’t look carefully, you can easily miss the entrance. And if you do see the door, there isn’t any indication that it would be the stairs. No window, no sign, nada.


Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 8.52.15 PM
This is the basic layout of the building and where everything is at. *NOTE: drawing is not to scale.

That’s why I decided that if I could redo this are, in particular, I most certainly would. The easiest thing to do would be to expand outward from the original wall and make a new wall where the current hangover ends. This would make the stairs larger for more people to come up and down, and it would knock down the wall that separates the main hall from the stairs and provide a new place for a larger, cohesive entrance. I really don’t want to add anything more or take away anything that can be avoided because there are classrooms in that general area and things could get complicated.



Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 8.52.29 PM
This is the basic idea I have for the new design of the building. Sorry, it looks like chicken scratch. 

I tried to change the inside the least amount I could while changing the parts that needed to change. The exterior was a similar dilemma. I know that the architecture of CSULB was designed by, the famous architect, Ed Killingsworth and that most of the school that was built afterward reflects some sort of his designs. That’s why I wanted whatever I did to the FA4 building to keep the most integral parts of CSULB’s mid-century modern design. (AKA the brick walls, green plants, and just overall simply elegant structure) You guys will have to excuse me for my insufficient drawing skills in this department, I have prepared a Pinterest board with my ideas. I will post below, a slideshow of pictures with my ideas.


To explain, the new back wall we will be built will be made out of brick, as most other buildings on campus are. However, because the eastside is secluded and lacks greenery in some areas, I think it will be nice to uplift the space and bring it up to date with a plant wall made of succulents. Succulents are common in Southern California and are easy to care for, plus they’re in fashion right now. The plant wall doesn’t have to extend all the way up, but it will be high enough to allow for more texture. However, this does mean that the bushes that grow closest to the wall will be discarded, with the exception of the big tree that is planted there. My plans include that there will be another tree opposite to the main one, that will provide even more shade for the summer months. Both trees will have brick flower bed made around them to provide a sitting area if anyone wants to just hang out there.

Overall, my I designed the building to be simple, provide sufficient space for foot traffic, and a small quiet area for students to hang out. Hopefully a year from now, not many people will know about it, but the few that do will find some comfort and inspiration in the space.

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