The ArtCenter Master Plan is a critical step in the realization of the College’s strategic plan: to establish a collective vision of ArtCenter’s future that both reflects the diversity of its academic programs, faculty, and students, and unifies the ArtCenter community in its shared intensity to invent the future. The Master Plan outlines four primary pillars for growth at the South Campus: Place-Making, Community Building, Student Living and Sustainability.


The synthesis of the various connectivity and massing concepts in the Master Plan create a campus that is organized vertically where the program is distributed over a series of layers, which allows the various campus program categories to be optimally located. The Master Plan, designed by Wil Carson during his time at MMA as Senior Designer, imagines a ground-level layer oriented toward the street. The second-floor layer is programmed with academic space and campus-specific services and is connected by the CycleWay, a pedestrian-oriented path. The third-floor layer is defined by elevated quads, which are productive landscapes, green open spaces and also connective roofscapes. The six residential houses rest on top of these layers and will house 1,000 students.

The first stage of this process was the development of a comprehensive Academic Master Plan that documented the College’s existing and future programming and space needs at both the Hillside Campus and the South Campus in Pasadena. Following the completion of the Academic Master Plan, the firm completed a Pre-Development Plan (2014) that outlined the Master Plan concept before embarking on a formal Master Plan process. The new Master Plan was completed in 2015 in collaboration with Tina Chee Landscape Studio, ARUP (Energy)and Sherwood Design Engineers (water infrastructure). The realization of this Master Plan is anticipated to be completed in two phases from 2017 through 2027.