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LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

United States Architecture News - Apr 15, 2021 - 14:18   3387 views

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

Seattle-based architecture studio LMN Architects has unveiled design for a new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara, California, United States

Inspired the site and the history of the campus, the project is the first new building dedicated to classroom space in fifty years. LMN's project will increase campus classroom capacity by 35 percent, providing 2,000 seats in contemporary instructional spaces over four floors in the center of the University’s iconic shoreline campus.

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

As the studio explained that the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) has begun construction on a new 90,000 square foot (8,361 square meters) Classroom Building designed by LMN Architects on a central site adjacent to the Library along Library Mall. 

The project will be the first new classroom building on campus since 1967 and will provide additional active learning space with 2,000 seats in 5 lecture halls, 3 active learning flat-floor rooms, and 20 flexible classrooms. 

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

The Classroom Building is designed as a porous structure as possible to be able to open at every face to welcome the university community, intertwining the life of the building with the surrounding campus and spectacular natural environment.

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

"Together with University leadership, we have envisioned a building and surrounding public spaces that are open and welcoming. Drawing on the coastal climate and spectacular natural setting to create a place that will be among the most heavily used on campus," said Stephen Van Dyck, Partner, LMN Architects.

"The building’s site and design represent a major step forward towards the goals of the University’s Long Range Development Plan, anticipating the eventual extension of Library Mall to the south and realizing the eastward extension of Pardall Mall, ultimately linking several of the campus’ most significant shared buildings along these major public spaces," added Van Dyck. 

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

"As a top-tier research university and member of the prestigious American Association of Universities, UC Santa Barbara has been long overdue to update its teaching capabilities," said Gene Lucas, Chair of the New Classroom Building Committee for the University. 

"As a campus with a reputation for pioneering interdisciplinary teaching and research, this new classroom building will provide spaces that encourage collaborative education and promote faculty-student interactions." 

"Every classroom is designed to facilitate active learning, an experience our students are clamoring for, and our faculty is excited to provide. LMN has done an outstanding job of designing a building that not only provides this capability but integrates well with both the campus architecture and our beautiful Pacific Coast setting," Lucas added.

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

Comprised of two main volumes surrounding a central circulation corridor that runs east-west, the volumes will link the extension of Library Mall to Science Walk. 

This open-air paseo interconnects the functions of the two buildings’ masses, providing outdoor terraces, stairs, bridges, and collaboration spaces designed to encourage serendipitous interactions and collaboration among students and faculty. 

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

The intensity of use of the building’s many instructional spaces will activate the building throughout the day, extending the vibrant social and academic cultures of UCSB throughout the building’s vertically arranged public spaces.

On the exterior, the building presents two characters of expression. A taught, vertical façade system comprised of high-performance-concrete panels and vertical windows clads the outward-facing elevations, establishing the building massing as clear framing elements along the adjacent campus spaces of Library Mall and Pardall Mall. 

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

Facing the building’s internal public spaces, the building takes a radically different form by sculpting the shared exterior terraces with a more loose, organic formal language, driven by the efficient planning of the lecture halls within. 

The resulting formal and material qualities of these spaces take inspiration from the local vernacular architecture and the adjacent seaside cliffs, recalling the sedimentary sandstone in its curvilinear, polished concrete block walls.

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

"The experience of the building is intended to be an extension of the campus experience. Taking advantage of the Central Coast of California climate and the views to the Pacific Ocean, the building acts almost as a vertical extension of the adjacent campus spaces. This same thinking is brought inwards to the building’s teaching spaces, featuring material and color palettes inspired by the campus’ unique natural setting," said Jennifer Milliron, Principal, LMN Architects. 

"We have strategically integrated natural light in every room, and on the upper floors have created seminar rooms that feature views out to the lagoon and ocean beyond. This is a design that could only have evolved out of this iconic campus and stunning natural environment," Milliron added.

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

UCSB Classroom Building - Context (Channel Islands)

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

UCSB Classroom Building - Context (Santa Barbara)

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

UCSB Classroom Building - Heat Map

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

UCSB Classroom Building - Site Plan

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

UCSB Classroom Building - Level 1

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

UCSB Classroom Building - Level 2

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

UCSB Classroom Building - Level 3

LMN unveils design for new Classroom Building at the University of California Santa Barbara

UCSB Classroom Building - Level 4

The four-storey building broke ground in February of 2021 and is expected to be completed in 2023. 

Project facts

Project Title: University of California, Santa Barbara Classroom Building.

Architects: LMN Architects

Project team: John Aldredge, Albert Cua, AIA, Rob Curran, Michael Day, Tiffani Erdmanczyk, Associate AIA, Jeff Floor, AIA
Howard Howlett, Associate AIA, Kris Jugueta, Susan Lowance, AIA, Chris Martin, AIA, Jennifer Milliron, Associate AIA, Charlotte Phillips, Shima Sahebnassagh, Associate AIA, George Shaw, FAIA, Stephen Van Dyck, AIA, Kevin Zhang.


Location: Santa Barbara.
Design Years: 2018-2021.
Construction Years: 2021-2023.
Major Building Materials: High-performance concrete panels, polished concrete block, perforated aluminum guardrails, high-performance glazing.

Program: Lecture Halls (175, 250 and 350 seat), Active Learning Classrooms, Discussion Section Classrooms, Technical Office Suite, Informal Teaching Space, Exterior Terraces, Gender Inclusive Restrooms, Classroom Support, and Building Storage.
Site Area: 159,000 SFT (14,771.5 s.m.)
Floor Area: 90,000 SFT (8,361.2 s.m.)
Building Height: 81’ – 6”. (24.7 m.).
Number of Floors: 4 (+ Penthouse).

UCSB Design & Construction Services: John Fitzgerald, Julie Hendricks, Ernie Knapp, Liana Khammash, Bill McGreevy, Meagan Roa, Jack Wolever

Project Contractor: C.W. Driver.
Structural: Saiful Bouquet, Inc.
Civil Engineer: Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.        
Landscape Architect: Arcadia Studio, Inc.        
MEP, Lighting & Sustainability: Integral Group.
Acoustic, AV & IT: Arup North America Ltd.
Environmental Graphics: Entro.

Bicycle Planning: Fehr & Peers.
Wind: RWDI.

All images and drawings © LMN Architects

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