Envisioned as a catalyst to provide a transformative and uplifting learning environment for an aging community college campus, the new Health Sciences Center is situated along a portion of sloping terrain nestled between an existing parking lot and a walking path. The building contains a variety of health science labs, classrooms, and lecture space organized along a linear, light-filled common space which opens to views of the adjacent forest and ravine. The exterior glazed wall of the multi-level common space is angled to follow the existing walking path and sculpted to visually relate to the shifting edge of the adjacent forest. Varying applications of glazing treatments including color, reflectivity, and joint detailing are applied to create a visual effect of a “floating” exterior canvas; which reflects the forest during the day, and transforms to highlight the student common space during the evening. Responding to the client’s requirement to incorporate the existing blended brick found throughout the campus, the design responds by compositionally reorganizing this same brick blend into shifting brick courses of multiple tones along areas of natural vegetation and bioswales. An entry bridge spans over these areas to provide visitors with a visual connection to the natural surroundings. To fulfill the programmatic requirement of highlighting the lecture space as an important signature to the college, its volume has been conceived as an extrusion of the instructional “bar” and cantilevered over the sloping site as an expressive gesture to the campus.
Construction Cost: $12,127,000 ($262/sf; 46,320 sf building area)