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The McKinnon Center for Global Affairs at Occidental College

The McKinnon Center for Global Affairs has become an exemplar of virtual and physical planning that has transformed an institution’s pedagogical landscape. The project, a renovation of an historic building, included the addition of The Global Forum, a dramatic new two-story media wall in a new atrium space. The Forum is an open, public-facing media system that allows everyone to see into the big ideas and thought-provoking positions that motivate courses and events at the McKinnon Center. Developed in collaboration with the College, Belzberg Architects, and Second Story (a division of Sapient), a leading digital experience designer, this architectural innovation successfully deploys a custom web application for students, faculty and administrators to author and publish multimedia project content for display to their peers and guests.

At the McKinnon Center, learning is done out in the open both in the digital and physical sense. In addition to the Global Forum, informal peer-to-peer study is encouraged in corridors by the inclusion of white-board walls and benches, and study areas have greater transparency, overlooking the lecture theatre and the atrium/media wall. The increase in opportunities for engagement has led to more cross-pollination and greater access to ideas and people across the Center’s community.

Status: Completed 2013
Project Type: Higher Education
Building Type: Renovation
Size: 29,500 sf
Location: Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, CA

Principal: Hagy Belzberg
Project Manager: Daniel Rentsch
Project Team: Chris Sanford, Susan Nwankpa, Ashley Coon, Chris Arntzen, Cory Taylor, Aaron Leppanen, David Cheung

Interior Design Magazine

2014 Interior Design Magazine: Best of the Year Awards (Education: University)
2014 Los Angeles Business Council – 44th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards: Education Award