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We are pleased to present our spring 2018 issue of evolution, a seasonal journal. This issue offers our reflections on flexibility and change in public education, followed by POSTINGS: a clipboard of recent engagements of our office.


Education in the K-12 world is rapidly evolving in significant social, cultural, and pedagogical directions. Innovative schools take on a wide range of social and cultural challenges in their ultimate mission to prepare students for a dynamic future. Incorporating new technologies, reaching out to support under-served or disenfranchised groups, nurturing creative thinking, and engaging the business community are just some of the ways that creative schools are re-defining public education.

Today’s approach to K-12 innovation is all about flexibility and change. School architecture is driven by pedagogy, which is itself profoundly affected by the fluid development of information and classroom technologies. Learning, subject to this type of wide-ranging evolution, calls for the architecture itself to be less about a building and more an operable, adaptable platform. As a current example of this important trend we look at a project in design for a forward-thinking public school district in California.


Moore Ruble Yudell is teamed with the K-12 Studio at Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED) to design a new 1200 student facility for Santa Monica High School- locally known as Samohi. The project will complete two phases of a multi-phased re-development and replacement plan for the historic campus, and will include structured parking, distribution center, and a new aquatic center.  Called The Discovery Building, it is a major addition to the 3000-student campus, with over 260,000 square feet of varied program space.

“For Samohi we are re-thinking the learning environment through an Open Building  approach.” explains HED’s John Dale, FAIA. With the premise that long-term use and adaptability of buildings and places is inherently more sustainable, Open Building seeks to enhance longevity and resilience through a set of basic principles that impact design, as well as how buildings are delivered and managed over time. Building format, structure, and services all strive for adaptability of the final fit-out in ways that are relevant to program type, such as housing vs office uses: form approximates function.

Samohi is in transition in terms of pedagogy from classroom-only accommodation to a spectrum of defined classrooms and labs complemented by multi-functional ‘commons’ areas. The need for an open future made it a perfect case study for Open Building. To fully understand the progressive program goals of the School and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, our design process was based on a series of workshops with teaching and administrative staff. These meetings reinforced a hybrid approach to the use of open commons vs discrete spaces. The search was then on for a basic parti that offered the best opportunities for an evolving curriculum.

In contrast to single and double-loaded corridor layouts common in California, the five level Discovery Building has relatively deep floor plates that allow the clustering of spaces and activities in a greater variety of sizes and formats, supporting different modes of learning. Large classrooms, up to 1100 SF, are themselves able to accommodate multiple activities simultaneously. Classrooms connect with glass-fronted sliding doors onto a continuous network of open circulation and commons areas with a variety of set-ups for individual and team projects conducted by the students themselves. In addition to typical classrooms and labs, the program has a range of special features, such as a computer center, Project Lead-the-Way (a special part-time curriculum with emphasis on STEM learning), discrete suites for longer-term students with special needs, and a large distribution center for the warehousing and hand-out of educational materials.

A critical factor is that project resources are significantly directed to advance a high-quality, high-service interior environment. The Discovery Building accommodates ongoing change with a large format structural grid and interior fit-out and services that are discrete from structure. Building fabric itself supports future development:

  • A prefabricated steel moment-frame structural system enables a variety of floor plans without shear walls.
  • Electrical and communication systems combine with air distribution under an accessible raised floor, freeing ceilings from rigid service requirements. 
  • Interior walls are potentially demountable and lend themselves to reconfiguration.
  • Fenestration is evenly distributed with a central courtyard bringing natural light into the interior of the large block

The exterior design uses modest materials to establish a strong civic character for one of the city’s most important public buildings.  Taking its cues from Samohi’s original moderne architecture, its more contemporary interpretation is sparingly expressed in simple curves and planes of white cement plaster with deep-set windows. Grand, operable glass storefronts at ground level open the building up at its most important public links to surrounding open space.


Samohi has its own broader role in the city of Santa Monica, with a variety of school and non-school programs that bring the public onto campus throughout the year.  Balancing off hours public access with normal daily security relies on smart campus planning, with clear, efficient movement of visitors from limited entry points to the particular venues for events.

Major components of the Discovery Building promote community use and engagement. An open air Aquatic Center shares the tight site, and uses part of the building for support facilities. Located at the most visible public side of the site, next to a major auto entrance and parking, the Aquatic Center visually identifies Samohi from the adjacent streets as a dynamic public center of health and recreation as well as education.

The new building’s large Dining and Assembly Hall and smaller Multi-use Commons provide venues for off-hours public use, strategically located adjacent to a main pedestrian entrance.

As future phases of the Master Plan are brought into design, the Discovery Building and its site planning will continue to provide a model for a flexible, high performance environment that stimulates innovation and evolution in learning for its famously progressive community.


Designing, Building, and Evaluating Healthy Buildings

AIA Conference on Architecture, NYC.
Session: Friday June 22, 2018, 10:30-11:30 AM

Neal Matsuno, AIA, and Adam Padua from Moore Ruble Yudell will join Washington University, St. Louis Campus Architect Jamie Kolker, FAIA, in presenting the unique design and follow-up study of Hillman Hall for WUStL’s Brown School of Social Work and Public Health. The data-rich study demonstrates the impact of specific design strategies for a healthy, interactive workplace.

COTE LA: 2C Symposium

Buzz Yudell, FAIA and Simone Barth, current AIA COTE Chair, joined other architects, thinkers, policy makers, and international headliners on March 2, 2018 at 2°C: A Committee on the Environment (COTE) AIA -  LA Symposium dedicated to tools and actions on Climate Change. Learn more about the impressive program and topics discussed.

Moore Ruble Yudell is proud to share educational videos and lessons learned from this event.

Two Presentations at The Mid-Atlantic Regional SCUP Conference, 2018

Jeanne Chen, joined by Bryan Routledge and Bob Reppe, presented the Tepper Quad project at the SCUP Mid-Atlantic Conference. The presentation was followed by a tour conducted by Carnegie Mellon University of Tepper Quadrangle, Forbes Avenue Revitalization, and “The Square” Development.

Adam Padua & Neal Matsuno, joined by Jamie Kolker, presented on how they are Building Health & Measuring Wellness in Hillman Hall at The George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. This session outlined the planning process for this healthy building, review ongoing research for measuring healthy outcomes, and explore how research findings can shape future campus facilities.

The Moore Family Raises a Glass in New York City

John Ruble, FAIA, joined Centerbrook’s Mark Simon, FAIA, for “Cocktails and Conversations” at an April 27 gathering at the AIA Center for Architecture in New York. The series provides a venue to celebrate the richness and diversity of the architectural dialogue in NYC.

John and Mark presented examples of current and recent works by Moore Ruble Yudell and Centerbrook, describing the profound and continuing influence of their late partner and mentor, Charles Moore. A custom cocktail, the Moore-tini, was created for the event by noted alchemist of alcohols Toby Cecchini.

Moore Ruble Yudell Joins Night of 1000 Drawings Los Angeles

MRY participated in the ‘doodle for a difference’ event, creating artwork for sale to benefit the Music Program for Metro Charter Elementary School. The event took place at The Globe Theater, March 22, 2018.



AIA Women in Architecture: Getting FAIA'd & Young Architect Award

Moore Ruble Yudell hosted this educational panel discussion on March 21. Carissa Shrock Oyedele, AIA spoke on the panel to share her experiences in submitting and receiving the 2016 AIA National Young Architect Award. Other young architect recipients, as well as FAIA recipients, offered insights and encouragement on putting together a successful package.

Halprin Symposium

Buzz Yudell, FAIA joined his friend and colleague Donlyn Lyndon, FAIA for a session focusing on Halprin's exceptional impact and Legacy at The Sea Ranch.

Held as part of a three-month series of public events honoring Halprin’s rich local and national legacy,the symposium was directed towards enthusiasts of Modernist design and landscape architecture, practitioners and urban planners, fans of Los Angeles, and those interested in the city’s history.

Great Minds Series in Los Angeles Highlights Innovative Urbanism

James Mary O’Connor, FAIA, spoke at the Great Minds Series about architecture that engages regional development with high aspirations for sustainability. Our COFCO Agricultural Eco-Valley Master Plan project outside Beijing is planned to be the first net-zero-carbon community of its kind. With agriculture as an economic base, including food production and processing, Eco-Valley is intended to provide a model for similar communities elsewhere in China and the world. Project with ARUP.


UCLA's Engineering VI Celebrates its grand opening on March 17th

Completing a state-of-the-art pairing of experimental and computational laboratories, the School of Engineering’s new front door on the University’s recently developed Gateway Plaza, Phase Two of Engineering VI, on track for LEED Platinum, is now fully occupied and celebrated its Grand Opening on March 17. Project with BNIM (Planning & Design Collaborator) for Phase 1.

New US Embassy in The Hague Opened March 26

Our latest US Embassy celebrated its formal opening, establishing an American presence in the elegant woodland-canal context of the adjacent town of Wassenaur, with its historic villas, and the nearby Queen’s House. One of relatively few new embassies produced by Design-Bid-Build, the campus builds civic character with detailed brickwork in patterns inspired by Holland’s distinctive masonry traditions, and sculpted granite paneling highlighting its main entry court, amid an elegant system of canals and lake.


BioEngineering Building at UC Santa Barbara is Certified LEED Platinum

Our BioEngineering building at UC Santa Barbara celebrates LEED Platinum certification. The new home for the Center for Bioengineering and the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies brings together faculty from across the sciences to foster interdisciplinary research and expand the boundaries of science and engineering. Congratulations to UC Santa Barbara, the College of Engineering, and the entire design and construction team!

Beihang University, Qingdao
Science & Education New Town Competition Winner

Our competition-winning master plan connects several separate sites to form a cohesive urban town-campus without barriers. A waterfront International Conference Center links to an Incubator/Innovation District, Housing, and the Beihang Campus itself, using a Smart Loop transit system that will be continuously updated by Beihang’s engineering research and development. With ECADI, ARUP, and Lützow 7 Landscape Architects.

Luxe Lakes Parcel 9 Towers

A ground-breaking complex of residential towers is recently completed in Cheng Du, China. The Master Plan and Concept Design by Moore Ruble Yudell, completed and executed by 5-plus Architects in China, features a unique approach to luxury residence in a high-rise format. Two-story units are stacked three to a floor, connected to the elevator core by open, landscaped breezeways, creating a ‘villa in the sky’ experience for residents. Towers are complemented by rows of townhouses at the waters edge.

Client: Wide Horizon New Town Development Company Limited

American Institute in Taiwan Dedication
June 12, 2018

The long-awaited new campus for AIT will be formally dedicated. Located in the district of Neihu, at the green edge of the city, AIT provides Visa services and other functions analogous to an embassy. The program also includes the Foreign Service Institute, a regional facility for language and cultural instruction. Building and site planning integrate extensive landscape design that transforms the dramatically topographic site.

New U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, Dedicated on April 24, 2018

This new consulate is a major event in a city whose recent history has seen extraordinary social and economic challenges. Set in a green residential neighborhood, the campus is carefully designed to mediate its scale, maintain existing mature trees, and provide a high level of security for employees and visitors.

Lower Sproul receives Honor Award from the ASLA

The revitalization of UCB Lower Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley received an Honor Award from the North California Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

CMG Landscape Architecture.

Architect's Houses

Buzz Yudell and Tina Beebe's new house is featured in Michael Webb's recently published book, Architects' Houses, in which thirty of the world's most talented architects, including Norman Foster, Thom Mayne, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien talk about the houses they designed for themselves.

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press, Thames and Hudson


ASU Thunderbird School of Global Management

Arizona State University has selected MRY and Jones Studio to design the new home for the Thunderbird School of Global Management.  Thunderbird will become part of the new ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus.  Its focus will promote graduate and executive education with a global perspective.  

Re-launching UCLA’s Historic Powell Library Into the Future

Moore Ruble Yudell has been engaged to provide a study that will guide the university in taking the next steps in Powell Library’s evolution from a traditional book repository to 21st century student learning center.  The study intends to discover a balance between honoring this treasured historic building and providing state-of-the-art student space.


The New Tepper Quad

The Dedication Ceremony for the new Tepper Quad at Carnegie Mellon University is set for mid-September. The new Tepper Quad will house the Tepper School of Business and will serve as an interconnected hub for the entire campus community.

Topping Out Gold Season Residential Towers in Hanoi

This luxury residential and commercial development will set a new standard of design for urban living in the fast developing capitol of Viet Nam. Four towers provide community gathering and retail to provide a neighborhood center, with the opportunity for living close to work within the complex.

Client/Investor: TNR Holdings Viet Nam, VID-MuaDong Real Estate Joint Stock Company. With CONVERARCHI Architects, Hanoi.

WZKU College of Architecture and Design Starts Construction

Our first school of architecture enjoys pride of place at Wenzhou Kean University in China, holding the center of Michael Graves’ master plan with a dynamic ensemble of spaces for 21st Century design curricula. With its central location, the College provides the University with a major shared venue- an 800-seat open forum on a tiered “Piazza d’Espagna”- as well as a café terrace and an upper level reception space overlooking the central campus lake. With Tongji Architecture and Planning, Shanghai.

Moore Ruble Yudell Website