2012 Annual Design Review
This 160,000-square-foot, LEED-Platinum housing complex for 510 students at the University of California, San Diego, is designed to promote life-changing understanding about issues of sustainability. Student residents are immersed in a year-long, live-and-learn setting focused on environmental responsibility. Each six-person apartment is configured to benefit from natural ventilation, with daylighting and framed landscape views.
The design facilitates the active use of exterior spaces, encouraging student interaction through circulation that fosters chance encounters, and spaces that are well-suited for individual and group activity. The white concrete exterior ties the building visually to the existing campus architecture, provides comfort through thermal mass, and increases reflectance of natural light. Harsh afternoon sun is blocked either by precast concrete panels or through the innovative use of an industrial fiberglass grating. In addition, stormwater is managed on site through courtyard basins, a vegetated roof, and the natural arroyo.
”The client’s statement was important to me here—that these units that serve over 500 students ‘were taken in just over an hour during the room selection process!’ ’’ —Elizabeth Ranieri