Campus: CSU Northridge -- December 04, 2002

CSUN's Manzanita Hall Receives American Architecture Award


The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design has selected Cal State Northridge's Manzanita Hall for a 2002 American Architecture Award.

In a letter to the university informing it about the award, Chicago Athenaeum President Christian K. Narkiewicz-Laine said the organization received hundreds of submissions for the 2002 awards from architecture firms across the United States. Only 41 projects were chosen for the award by a jury made up of members of the Icelandic Architects Association.

Manzanita Hall, which opened in the fall of 2001, is home to much of Cal State Northridge's College of Arts, Media, and Communication, including its acclaimed cinema and television arts and journalism departments.

The building, which cost a little more than $21 million to build, was designed by nationally recognized architect Robert A.M. Stern. It replaced the university's old Fine Arts Building, which was severely damaged in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. The old building was designed by the well-known modernist architect Richard Neutra.

"We were very pleased when Robert A.M. Stern was awarded the contract to design the building, and this award demonstrates that our confidence in Mr. Stern was justified," said William Toutant, dean of the College of Arts, Media, and Communication.

New York-based Stern perhaps is best known in the Los Angeles area for his design of the Feature Animation Building at Disney Studios in Burbank. The building's distinctive cone-shaped tower, painted with a moon and stars reminiscent of Mickey Mouse's hat in his role as the Sorcerer's Apprentice in the animation classic, Fantasia, can be seen from the Ventura (134) Freeway.

The architect chose a more nautical theme for Manzanita Hall. There are porthole-like windows in classroom and office doors, and cruise ship-like balcony railings along the north side of the second and third floors, which face a three-story glass front façade looking onto the core of the campus.

Pictures and drawings of the winning designs and projects will be featured in a special exhibition next year at the Chicago Athenaeum, the only museum of architecture and design in the United States. After Chicago, the exhibition will tour museums in Iceland and Scandinavia.

The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design founded "The American Architecture Awards" in 1998 as a way to draw international attention to new buildings and planning projects being built and designed in the United States by American architecture offices and firms. The program has a unique educational mission and public profile with the intent of promoting and celebrating American design and American architecture to a national and international audience.

Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler (818) 677-2130
carmen.chandler@csun.edu


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