March 17, 2016

A new state-of-the-art conference center is taking shape near the historic center of the University of California, Los Angeles, campus. The new venue, the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center, was announced in December and will open in August. Catering to academic, philanthropic, educational, and research groups, it will total 295,000 square feet and will sport an "H" shape, according to new design details released by the university.

Featuring an exterior of cast stone with brick details -- designed to match adjacent buildings that date back to 1929 -- the conference center offer a hotel tower with 254 guest rooms; two lower north- and south-oriented wings with conference, reception and dining spaces; and a full subterranean basement with parking for 125 cars.

Meeting and event spaces will feature four outdoor function areas and 25 meeting rooms. Indoor spaces will spread across three multilevel wings, allowing the conference center to host up to six groups simultaneously while still affording each of them privacy and separation. Highlights will include a tiered classroom for up to 90 people; three boardrooms for 20 to 40 individuals; and the facility's largest space, Centennial Hall, which will hold up to 750 attendees. The latter will be divisible into either two or four subspaces, each of which will be capped by a vaulted ceiling of illuminated glass that groups will be able to customize to match their event's mood or theme.

Outdoor spaces will include a reception and entry court for receptions of up to 100 guests, a deck adjacent to the main dining room for receptions of up to 80 guests, a patio off the largest meeting room for up to 200 guests and a rooftop terrace for more than 600 people.

Its lighted glass ceilings won't be the only high-tech features. Along with high-speed WiFi throughout, the facility will have a smart-card security system for guest-room and meeting-room access, centralized A/V controls, and "intelligent inputs" that make it easy for speakers to use their own devices for visual aides during presentations.

Finally, the Luskin Conference Center will feature several environmental attributes. Aiming for LEED Gold certification, plans call for the use of recycled and renewable materials, and the installation of water-efficient plumbing fixtures and high-efficiency mechanical and lighting systems.

"Thought leaders, professional meeting planners, and conference guests will gather here, bringing their unique perspective and a dedication to finding solutions to the complex issues facing the world community," reads a UCLA statement. "At the UCLA Luskin Conference Center, they will find the technical resources, modern comforts, natural beauty, and inspiring design that foster achievement."