Art Center – 870 South Raymond


Pasadena, California


Art Center College of Design

Design Architect

Darin Johnstone Architecture

Construction Manager / Owner's Rep


Project Size

35,000 SF

LEED Rating


A fast-track adaptive reuse project, the Art Center College of Design project transformed a former two-story post office building into educational and gallery spaces with four offices, three meeting rooms, 14 classrooms and 52 studio and workshop spaces. The three-month project included seismic retrofit, structural steel framing and stair additions.

The new design includes an open gallery space on the second level, with more than 150 linear feet of unencumbered walls to showcase student projects. Three 25-foot-tall gallery walls line the atrium, which is in the center of the building and open to the second level and its 900 sf skylight. New storefront windows with double glass doors at all eight corners of the north and south sides of the building, plus at the main entrance on the south, allow in natural light.

The existing mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire sprinkler systems were partially utilized with enhancements. 10 additional mechanical packaged units isolate the conditioned air in the studios, classrooms and open circulation areas. In addition to seismic upgrades, an interior entrance stairway and two new exterior stairways were installed.