Informed Design: Shaping a Campus Life and Learning

LPA has worked in the California State University (CSU) system since 1989 designing academic buildings, student recreation centers, libraries and more. In 2013, California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) selected LPA to conduct a feasibility study on its College of Extended Learning. The proposed project—CSUSB’s Center for Global Innovation—will be located at the heart of the campus and will be a new gateway for students. The new building will be a LEED Platinum, 70,000-square-foot, three-story building housing classrooms and administration offices for the College of Extended Learning.

Being a campus with a strong international student representation, the university wanted to promote lifelong learning while providing a home for students on campus.

Working as an integrated design team, including architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, mechanical, structure and civil engineering, LPA’s program integrated a variety of social spaces to complement the higher education academic experience.

The addition of the social spaces into the program for the Center for Global Innovation required that our team efficiently shape the building to leverage each program saving building area and allowed for the addition of these new program elements. One of these new program spaces, the 4,500-square-foot global gallery will double as both a lobby and lounge area to create a home base for the large international student population. With digital screens, writable surfaces and flexible furniture, students can gather in small to large groups to socialize or study. The global gallery will welcome the students by creating connection that will enrich their campus experience.

As the program was being finalized, the team of designers begin to inform the design of the building to address the region’s climate with its high winds and temperatures. The building form incorporates a variety of shaded outdoor social and learning spaces for students as well as a rooftop terrace with collaboration zones. Additionally, input from the structural and mechanical design teams informed the project to increase structural strength due to the project’s proximity to the San Andreas fault and include an efficient HVAC approach that works within the CSU guidelines.

The new CSUSB Center for Global Innovation will be a 21st century learning environment that fulfills the campus mission to provide a space that students can call home with both social and academic spaces that have been shaped by their environment and enrich their campus experience.

Glenn Carels, FAIA, is a Principal at LPA Inc. He has devoted his career to making higher education more effective through good design, by introducing better ways of nurturing student life and achievement within an environmentally conscious setting. During his more than 30-year career. This article can also be seen in LPA Studies: Arcadia Unified School District Facilities Master Plan

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