Santa Barbara City College - Santa Barbara, CA
West Campus New Classroom & Office Building
While at first glance the Building appears to adhere to the Campus’ modern architectural tradition, the architecture is actually closer to the Mediterranean style for which the City of Santa Barbara is known. Panoramic glass curtain walls and aluminum cladding have been designed to blend with Mediterranean elements such as porticos, trellises, overhangs, semi-enclosed gathering spaces and native Santa Barbara sandstone.
By combining these two architectural styles, the Building provides a visual bridge between the existing campus architecture and that of the surrounding community.
In addition, the Building will be the first to face inland and inward to visually acknowledge the East Campus. In this way, the Building will link the East and West Campuses, which currently feel like separate entities turning their “backs” on one another.
The Building will provide a new home to classrooms, labs, offices and support functions currently dispersed among portable buildings on the College’s East and West campuses, thereby providing a sense of educational community not possible under the existing campus configuration.
The Entry Boulevard will serve not only as the main entry and as a visual variation in the Building’s length, but will also provide an outdoor activity hub and student gathering space.
The Building’s design responded directly to the User Group’s physical design priorities:
• Functional Respect: The Building will provide more classroom and educational space than initially envisioned by the project’s scope with minimal visual impact and the lightest possible environmental footprint.
• Transparency: The Building's transparent eastern facade allows for full appreciation of the site’s incredible mountain and ocean views from within the Building, the East Campus Walk, other points on campus, as well as from the surrounding community.
• Identity: The Building's volumes and materials (including natural stone and vegetative roofing) were carefully selected to be compatible with, yet distinct from those of the adjacent Theater, giving the Building its own place and identity.
Additional elements tie the Building to its physical surroundings: Lightly inclined vertical mullions tether the articulated glass curtain walls, echoing the wood pilings supporting Santa Barbara’s historic Stearns Wharf (visible on the horizon). The undulated metal canopy hovering above the Entry Boulevard provides a nautical element evoking the ocean’s waves