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UCLA Faculty Club set to fully reopen with preservative yet progressive design

The UCLA Faculty Club, pictured above, has undergone extensive renovations over the past two years. The Club is a social gathering place for faculty, alumni and others to meet with those from different departments. (Clover Linné / Moore Ruble Yudell)

By Catherine Hamilton

Aug. 27, 2022 2:58 p.m.

This post was updated Aug. 28 at 10:40 p.m.

The UCLA Faculty Club is fully reopening this fall after extensive renovations to update and preserve the integrity of the building over the past two and a half years.

The Faculty Club – opened in 1959 – is a space for faculty, alumni, professors, retirees and parents of students to socialize, have events and eat food, said Luciano Sautto, COO and general manager of the Club. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block allocated $10 million for the infrastructure and security systems renovations in 2019, he added.

Since its inception, the Faculty Club has welcomed members from all departments, according to the Club’s website. Henry Kelly, a professor of English and member of the club since 1967, said the Club provides the opportunity for faculty to meet people from other divisions that they might not otherwise cross paths with.

Instead of relocating the Faculty Club when it fell in need of repair due to age, the university redesigned the building to achieve reconstruction goals – such as roof replacement and outdoor expansion – without sacrificing the treasured landmark, said Susan Santon, associate vice chancellor for capital planning and finance, in an emailed statement.

“A holistic planning approach enabled the project team to achieve seismic and infrastructure goals, while preserving the defining features of this unique mid-century modern facility,” Santon said in an emailed statement. “The Faculty Club has a rich history, and renovations were designed to restore the original vision for the club.”

Working with UCLA and Faculty Club leadership allowed the renovations to revitalize both the inside and outside of the building while maintaining the architectural heritage, said Clover Linné, an architect with Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners, the company helping to redesign the club.

Kelly added that the social aspect, along with the restaurant, was the main reason why he joined the Club upon arriving at UCLA, because it made him feel more comfortable in a place where he didn’t know many people.

“When you’re a professor you have to spend a lot of time in research, teaching, and so you don’t have the opportunity to take time for lunch every day,” Kelly said. “I made the trek over to the Faculty Center (Club) every, every day … you would look around and see other people come up and introduce yourself.”

The redesign also prioritized minimizing the club’s carbon footprint by establishing and maintaining sustainability practices such as recycling and planting drought-tolerant native plants, Santon said. It also reduced electrical consumption through efficient heating and cooling systems and new light controls, she added.

The Faculty Club has been a beloved institution and gathering place for faculty life on campus and it remains so, Sautto said.

“We’ve honored the past but we’re moving forward in the future,” Sautto said. “We really want to be a place where it’s great for all ages, and they can see that it’s a well-respected institution on campus, but it’s also moving forward with the times.”

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Catherine Hamilton
Hamilton was the 2023-2024 News editor and a Copy staff member. She was previously the 2022-2023 national news and higher education beat editor and a national news contributor.
Hamilton was the 2023-2024 News editor and a Copy staff member. She was previously the 2022-2023 national news and higher education beat editor and a national news contributor.
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