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UCLA’s Pritzker Hall Lauded for Restoration, Preserving Modernist History (Page & Turnbull)

UCLA’s Pritzker Hall Lauded for Restoration, Preserving Modernist History (Page & Turnbull)

Recognized as a standout academic facility, the newly renamed Pritzker Hall Psychology Tower at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is earning acclaim for the meticulous restoration and renovation of this historically significant campus building.

In acknowledgement of the building’s commendable rejuvenation, where architecture firm Page & Turnbull served as historic consultant and preservation architect and worked in close collaboration with the project’s architect and designer, Los Angeles-based CO Architects, honors have been bestowed by:

  • The Los Angeles Business Council’s (LABC) 51st Annual Architectural Award for excellence in architectural preservation.
  • The Westside Urban Forum Merit Award 2021 for the public/institutional category in recognition of the modernization and seismic upgrade to the exemplary building, which also was noted by American School & University.
  • The 2021 Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards Merit Award, New Buildings category, for the UCLA Pritzker Hall Seismic Renovation.
  • The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Phil Freelon Professional Design Awards, Citation Award for Historic for Historic Preservation, Restoration & Renovation.

Completed in 1967, the iconic tower’s design by African American master architect of late modern design, Paul Revere Williams, along with his partner Claude H. Coyne, broke from the traditional architecture marking the campus, says John Lesak, AIA, FAPT, principal at Page & Turnbull, and distinguish it from its surroundings, even today.

Key to the prominently recognized undertaking was Page & Turnbull’s historic resource evaluation of Franz Hall Tower, as Pritzker Hall was formerly known. Then, as today, Pritzker Hall houses UCLA’s psychology department in three interconnected wings, including an original 1939 Italian Renaissance Revival building, and a 1961 addition.

Among the unique preserved features that have put a spotlight on the eight-floor, 125,000-square-foot building are its articulated recessed windows on the third through eighth floors, where their gridded design’s angled stucco frames obscure outside views to maximize privacy for psychology consultations and experiments. A subtle color change applied to the window glazing during the restoration retained the façade’s architectural integrity, according to Page & Turnbull.

The building’s esteemed character was further preserved by retrofitting unobtrusive seismic upgrades to ensure the reinforced-concrete structure’s integrity in the event of earthquakes. Applications of innovative, modern materials like glass-fiber-reinforced gypsum materials mimicked historic details.

“What makes Pritzker historic and distinct are its height, highly modular design and lack of a brick façade,” says Lesak. “That speaks to the broader patterns of history, the expansion of the UCLA system, and the growing psychology department, all highlighted in a decidedly different architectural style being used on campus.”
Other recent honors recognizing Page & Turnbull’s work include the California Preservation Foundation’s preservation design awards for Oakland’s “Mid-Century Monster,” The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, The Tioga in Merced, Calif., and St. Joseph’s Church, San Francisco.

For more details, to arrange interviews, and for image use and high-resolution versions, contact Chris Sullivan at 914-462-2096 or chris@ccsullivan.com.