Rachlin Partners

UCLA Wellness Center

UCLA Semel Institute
Santa Monica, California

Developed by researchers from UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, the UCLA Family Commons offers an array of wellness-oriented programs that include family coaching, parent education, yoga, martial arts, mindful awareness, fitness and summer camps. Our design concept for the Commons is inspired by the motto: “a child grows, a parent discovers, a family flourishes, a community thrives.”

Using fresh, lively colors and geometries rooted in curves and spheres, we organized the Commons in units that symbolize each aspect of the motto. Cone-shaped rooms, representing the child or parent, offer spaces for coaching and counseling. The “Great Room,” which signifies the family, operates as a martial arts dojo, workout room and learning environment. Imaginatively designed with random circular windows and a large slanted and curved wall, the Great Room accommodates activities from meditation to karate instruction.

Taken as a whole, the bright, airy Commons represents a thriving community in which parents and children can develop to their fullest potential. Designed to foster healthy minds and bodies, the project is exemplary of how creative architecture can serve an innovative community program—even in a 2,500-square-foot space at a relatively modest cost of $281,000.

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