UCLA’s Hedrick Study combines a library, lounge, and dining hall

Johnson Favaro designed the space.

December 05, 2017 |
Hedrick Hall East Lounge

Photo Credit: John Ellis

“Students no longer take three scheduled meals a day, preceded or followed by concentrated periods of study,” says Jim Favaro, Principle Architect of UCLA’s new Hedrick Study project. “Young people today want the option of taking meals and studying in fragments of time throughout the day and night.”

It is this idea that drove the design of the Hedrick Study, a modern hybrid of library, lounge, and dining hall on the UCLA campus. The Johnson Favaro-designed space took an existing 22,000-sf food-court-style kitchen and cafeteria in Hedrick and turned it into a more suitable 24-hour space.

The original kitchen was updated to service all of UCLA’s west campus residences. The remaining 11,000-sf was renovated to include a European-style food hall, a fireplace lounge, a large central reading room, and a quiet study room. Naturally lit lounges and smaller study areas surround all the main areas.


Hedrick Hall East Lounge looking NorthPhoto Credit: John Ellis.


The central reading room has a custom-printed sunset ceiling and allows students to observe surrounding activity through wall openings while remaining acoustically isolated and conducive to individual study. The separate, midnight-blue quiet study room continues the theme created with the central reading room’s sunset ceiling through the use of a NASA photograph of the universe on the ceiling. On the north side of the central reading room, wrapped in full height black chalkboard walls, is the fireside lounge.

On the east side of the reading room is the main lounge. Modeled after a hotel lobby, the main lounge faces out onto gardens and provides group seating, individual seating, reading tables, and study carrels. Group study rooms are located along the south wall. The west side of the reading room has three 20-foot-long community tables at bar height.

The space is the result of an amalgamation of design inspirations: hipster hotels, steampunk, and the maker movement; traditional university libraries like UCLA’s Powell Library an Harvard’s Widener; and the Italian rosticceria, French boulangerie, English pub, and American delicatessen.

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