Advancing the Biosciences
New Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience offers collaboration platform for biomedical professionals
University of Southern California
ASSOCIATE SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT
FOR CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT &
The University of Southern California (USC) is in the midst of a building
boom. Many existing buildings are receiving upgrades and renovations,
and several new buildings are under construction.
One of the new developments is the Michelson Center for Convergent
Bioscience, a new research facility located on the University Park
“The university is hiring transformative researchers,” says Joe Back,
Associate Senior Vice President for Campus Development & Facilities
Management at USC. “Our architect, HOK, has provided a design
with flexible space intended to facilitate convergence of science and
SHAPED BY GROWTH DEMANDS
The USC campus is going through a transition,
as it requires room to grow but does not necessarily
have much land space with which to
work. By means of a master plan completed in
2008, the university seeks to find the best use
of space, while also preserving the historic integrity
of the campus.
“We’re locked in on three sides of the University
Park Campus and our expansion plans are
controlled by that limitation,” Back says. “We
had to figure out how to make use of the available
land. Like other campuses, we have older
buildings with two stories, where four or five
stories would be more appropriate in terms of
maximizing land use. However, we are not in
a position to demolish many buildings due to
their historic value. We are finding ways to upgrade
them, keep green space and work in new
The Michelson Center, due to its anticipated
size, posed a challenge within the master plan,
but is a major part of the school’s primary goals.
Eventually, USC was able to work out a solution
to allow for the facility’s construction.
“Half of the Michelson Center will cover space
once used as a parking lot,” Back says. “The
other half will occupy land that once held three
considerably older low-rise buildings. They
were not historic and were slated for replacement
anyway, so we demolished them to make
Plans are working out well thus far. Construction
on the Michelson Center started this past
summer and is expected to continue until 2017.
Made possible with a $50 million leadership
gift from renowned surgeon Dr. Gary K. Michelson,
the center will feature 190,000 square
feet of laboratories, offices and an imaging facility.
It also includes a nanotechnology laboratory
and a clean room designed by the clean
room consultant Abbie Gregg, Inc.
MASONRY CONCEPTS, INC.
Masonry Concepts, Inc. is proud to be a
partner with DPR Construction in providing
the masonry scope for the USC-Michelson
Center. Masonry Concepts, Inc. is also a
partner contractor with the Bricklayers Local
#4 and a member of the Mason Contractors
Exchange of Southern California. The USCMichelson
Center is a great example of the
successful collaboration Masonry Concepts
has enjoyed, for over 30 years, between
Management and Labor to provide exceptional
masonry work in the Southern California
Area. Masonry Concepts, Bricklayers #4
and the Mason Contractors Exchange thank
USC and DPR for providing our team the opportunity
to be a part of such a unique project
and to be able to showcase our quality
workmanship. Fight On!
ENHANCED RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES
The primary value of the Michelson Center lies
in the recruitment of leading researchers. The
floor plans support collaboration and include
state-of-the-art resources and facilities.