California State University, Northridge Fine Arts Building

California State University, Northridge
Julius Shulman photography archive, 1936-1997.

California State University, Northridge Fine Arts Building


This large, three-story, L-shaped, reinforced concrete building housed offices, art studios and workshops, and a gallery space. The lobby at the crux of both wings opened directly onto a landscaped sculpture garden, leading the eye immediately through the building to the outdoors. The façade is covered in brushed aluminum vertical fins which reduced the glare from the morning sun. Similarly, on the south side, thin, horizontal concrete overhangs with deeply inset windows reduced summer solar gain. Attention to light continues inside, and the classrooms carefully balance natural and artificial light. In the stairwells and lobby, Neutra designed distinctive suspended aluminum light troughs that condition the eye. His intelligent design also accounts for the varied uses of classroom spaces; workshops requiring heavy materials were located on the ground floors and had bays that opened to the outdoors. In addition, other features such as copious amounts of built-in cabinetry were well-used. Neutra designed a gallery space with walls surfaced in unusual materials, including pearwood and aluminum-edged burlap. While this building was demolished after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, an identical structure at California State University, East Bay survives and is also pictured below.

Adapted from Neutra – Complete Works by Barbara Lamprecht (Taschen, 2000), p. 351.

Project Detail

Year Built


Project Architect

Richard Neutra


California State University


18111 Nordhoff Boulevard
Northridge, CA

Current Status