The Wallis Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California is one of the nation’s most well-renowned schools of its type. Widely recognized as leaders in their field, the school needed a space to match the caliber of their faculty and students.
Tangram partnered with Harvey Ellis Devereaux to create a space that provided the hall’s vast demographic with variety and choice to encourage collaboration and cultivate an environment where the convergence of public, instructional, research and production spaces leads to new and unexpected ideas. The school’s goal for the design, inspired by Wallis Annenberg’s commitment to openness, transparency and technology, was to eliminate the barriers that prevented random interactions and cross-collaboration and instead create a space that fostered a ‘village square’ type of environment. The key to providing the faculty and students with all the different spaces desired was to specify furniture that was flexible, easily reconfigurable and complemented the aesthetic of the architecture.
The five floor, 88,000 square foot space consists of classrooms, laptop lounges, collaborative areas, a newsroom, faculty offices and multi-use spaces. For all private offices, Steelcase Flex Frame and Leap task chairs were used. Flex Frame’s functional surfaces and modular components are great for accommodating future growth or changes. Akira tables and Kart chairs were used as solutions for all student classrooms. Additionally, Campfire tables, FrameOne benching, SW-1 tables and chairs were used throughout the hall in different areas to create several multi-use spaces. Steelcase Cachet chairs were also provided for seating in the newsroom and production areas.
The result of the project was a beautiful, high-tech, modern building with various flexible, functional spaces. “Just as communication is at the center of modern life, USC Annenberg is at the center of communication and journalism—and at the center of campus!” says Dean Ernest J. Wilson III. The heart and soul of Annenberg is the ability to merge old with new and traditional with experimental to create something entirely different for all sharing the passion of journalism.