In 2009, Pepperdine University students returning to the Malibu campus for fall classes found new classroom digs as well as an elegant and peaceful plaza.

Interior renovations and new construction added classroom and other space, as well as updated technology infrastructure. But the “wow” factor didn’t end with a high-end digital projector, or even with a new building embedded into a slope facing Joslyn Plaza (for energy efficiency and to coordinate with a future town square, which has since been built).

The wow factor extended to the plaza itself, along with enhanced outdoor gathering areas. The project created six distinctive outdoor locations to provide a beautiful, functional place for events and gatherings. These areas included the plaza, two seating areas, two terraces, and a courtyard garden. Trademark Concrete Systems Inc. provided and installed more than 35,000 square feet of the company’s Stained EcoCast sand-textured concrete, which also included sidewalks and cast-in-place steps, walls, and wall caps. The Trademark crew incorporated a rectilinear random sawcut design, used EcoCast Surface Retarder to lightly etch surfaces at all horizontal surfaces (paving and steps), and combined four different dilutions of L.M. Scofield Co.’s “Padre Brown” Lithochrome Chemstain to create a varied, yet homogenous sand appearance.

One of the university’s goals was to integrate social and academic venues, so that they would converge on the main plaza at the heart of campus. Another was to “go beyond functionality to aesthetics and the way our community experiences the space,” says Phil E. Phillips, CEO of Pepperdine University. It seems that both were accomplished. The picturesque plaza offers inviting niches to sit, read, relax, study, and socialize.

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