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BUSINESS NEWS WARE MALCOMB ANNOUNCES CONSTRUCTION IS COMPLETE ON EXPANSION OF USC ROSKI SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN Ware Malcomb , an award- winning international design firm, announced construction is complete on the expansion of the University of Southern California Gayle Garner Roski School of Art and Design. Ware Malcomb provided interior architecture and design services for the project. USC’s Roski School of Art and Design is one of the oldest art schools in Southern California. The first phase of the project included 15,000 square feet of offices and classrooms. After the initial occupancy, USC realized an immediate need for more space, and teamed with Ware Malcomb to design an additional 10,000-square-foot expansion including 18 student studios and an expanded professional gallery. The school’s three graduate degree programs are now together in one space, bringing opportunities for cross collaboration with state-of-the-art amenities. The expansion also enables the school to present arts programming and public events within the Arts District neighborhood, contributing to the existing creative community. “The expansion of USC’s Roski School of Art and Design needed to not only accommodate the school’s growth, but also align with its mission of responding to – and creating – art and culture in new and meaningful ways,” said

Radwan Madani, principal of Ware Malcomb’s Los Angeles office. “This new graduate facility evokes creativity and artistic freedom for its talented students. With a timeless and flexible design, the school can continue inspiring artists as it has been for more than a century.” The reception area sets the tone for the entirety of the space with natural elements and clean lines complemented by a neutral color palette. Spotlighted by track lighting, visitors are met by a gallery which showcases the students’ talent and reinforces the purpose of the space. Natural elements such as continual concrete floors are conducive to the school’s artistic environment, while the students’ art along the walls remains an important focal point. An open concept floorplan with 18-foot ceilings and vast lighting fixtures transform the space into a modern artistic haven. Due to the sensitive nature of the art inhabiting the space, proper lighting and heat control was crucial to keeping the integrity of the students’ work. The workspace includes generously sized desks and multiple areas to enrich the learning experience. These spaces include two modular classrooms along with a maker’s space featuring various equipment such as laser cutters, 3D printers, and an equipment check out area, allowing students to utilize multiple technological resources in their artistic process.

Being in the vibrant Los Angeles Arts District, the exterior environment inspired many interior elements of the school, including the dichotomy of old and new and the industrial façade distinct to the area’s aesthetic. Ware Malcomb has completed more than1 20 projects for USC since 2014. The firm has also completed several other projects in the Los Angeles Arts District, including: providing architectural design services for 2130 Violet Street, a 9-story office/retail mixed use complex; providing interior architecture and design services for the Soylent corporate headquarters located within the At Mateo campus; and providing architecture and interior design services for 405 Mateo Street, an 83,285 square foot creative office and retail project. Established in 1972, Ware Malcomb is an international design firm providing planning, architecture, interior design, branding, civil engineering and building measurement services to commercial real estate and corporate clients. With office locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the firm specializes in the design of commercial office, corporate, industrial, science and technology, healthcare, retail, auto, public/ educational facilities and renovation projects. Ware Malcomb is recognized as a Hot Firm and Best Firm to Work For by Zweig Group.

WILL SWEARINGEN, from page 3

can get squirrely, but in some cases the funds are going directly through the trust to the exiting shareholders. All in all, new shareholders have less risk and often less urgency or motivation to find ways to “pay” for their equity. A few of the issues here are that for one, the true value of the enterprise is heavily discounted (50 percent to 80 percent in some instances). With this, there is no incentive for management to grow the firm. Management is incentivized to focus strictly on profitability (not a terribly bad thing!), and may not understand the need to grow their staff professionally and grow their firm from a revenue perspective. And this is where issues arise. It can create stagnation at the upper tier of the firm. Zweig Group is often called upon to diagnose owner alignment issues, compensation strategy, and transition for firms that have inherited a deferred compensation program. The issues are pretty consistent in that there is no value placed on the investment in the firm, there becomes a stark discrepancy between performers and non-performers, and the overall incentive structure comes into question. It can lead to entitlement issues and the firm functions more like an egalitarian society instead of a true partnership. These are just a couple of thoughts on transition strategy. Does any of this sound familiar or appealing? I am happy to discuss transition strategy and how your firm can get over the hump! WILL SWEARINGEN is director of ownership transition advisory services at Zweig Group. He can be reached at

tax, pre-bonus earnings of the firm. This trust or account can then be used to pay exiting shareholders the difference between the “value” of the equity they sold at a depressed value and get closer to the market value of the firm. In this instance, exiting shareholders are not taxed at preferred capital gains rates, but are taxed at ordinary income rates (see a tax professional to better understand your own unique situation). “People are given the opportunity to purchase equity for a fraction of its real value and are then rolled into a compensation plan that involves a pre-tax, pre-bonus contribution to a trust that holds these pre-tax, pre-bonus earnings of the firm.” The real benefit here is in the assurance that the exiting shareholder will get paid. This is potentially less risky than a traditional transfer of equity with transaction financing through the firm. Mostly because the transaction values and obligations to buyers are smaller. In a deferred compensation program, the incoming shareholder is also “contributing” to their ownership with pre-tax dollars. Incoming shareholders also do not recognize their contributions to the trust as income. This is where plans

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