Claremont University Consortium Administrative Campus Center
Claremont, CA, 2011
This new Administrative Campus Center for the Claremont University Consortium (CUC) consolidates the majority of CUC departments and services, previously dispersed and fragmented across the campus, into a single location. The adaptive reuse of an underutilized 42,000-square-foot maintenance building provides CUC with an environmentally sensitive and vibrant work area that has a well-defined public character and creates a collective gathering place for the colleges and the broader community.
The project deploys a series of intertwined, materially rich, tactical elements that transform the existing facility and redefine its public presence. These include a 740-foot-long cedar screen, custom ceiling cloud, digital garden, and field of 168 solar chimneys that provide natural light throughout the space. While a major aspect of the project’s sustainability strategy is retaining and reusing the existing prefabricated steel shed, its current utilitarian exterior is neither inviting nor appropriate for the new use. To redefine the building’s character, a continuous cedar surface wraps portions of its north, east, and south elevations. The ribbon works with the original pitch-roofed geometry of the building, but slips free of its shell to produce a clearly defined entry point along with a series of outdoor gathering spaces. Moving from exterior to interior, the cedar screen defines the major public circulation and shared facilities. Illuminated at night with embedded LED lights, the cedar ribbon serves as both a wayfinding device—denoting the building’s entry to vehicular and pedestrian traffic—and as a recognizable image for CUC.
Defining both exterior and interior spaces, the cedar ribbon exists in dialogue with the existing building envelope. On the north, the screen is folded to create a shaded patio that takes advantage of the Southern California climate. At the entrance, the ribbon slips into the interior, framing a new reception area and cafe, then continues out to the south patio, where it defines a large multipurpose area protected from the weather by a tensile structure covered with translucent fabric. When passing over windows, the spacing of the cedar panels is increased to allow light in.
A digital garden installation, produced by the artist Jason Krugman and comprised of over six thousand LED modules, envelopes the central core of meeting rooms. The LEDs are triggered by the motion of people walking nearby, and subtly shift from green to blue and back to green. As one moves around the installation the perception of the LEDs as an assemblage also shift from a crisp line, to a surface to a porous thickness.
A wide stair emerges from a central spine of red carpet, providing bleacher-like seating for large gatherings. Hidden underneath the stairs is an existing electrical room, while vertical electrical conduits and a cactus garden inhabit the space above the stairs.
Claremont University Consortium Administrative Campus Center, 2007–11, Claremont, CA
Client: Claremont University Consortium
Project team: Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, David J. Lewis; John Morrison, project manager; Hye-Young Chung, Perla Dís Kristindóttir, Michael Tyre, Matthew Clarke, Aaron Forrest, Deric Mizokami, Kevin Hayes, Tina Hunderup
Construction manager: CUC Construction Management and Facilities
Architect of record: Grant/Takacs ArchitectureStructural engineer: John Labib and Associates
Mechanical engineer: CA Engineering Design Group
Civil engineer: Andreasen Engineering
Electrical engineer: Kocher Schirra Goharizi
Landscape architect: AHBE Landscape Architects
Lighting designer: LumenArch
LED artist: Jason Krugman
A/V consultant: TPI
LEED consultant: Ecotype Consulting
Photographer: Michael Moran