“The building has been embraced by the campus community in ways well beyond my expectations.”
– Thomas E. Lollini, FAIA, former Associate Vice Chancellor and Campus Architect
STUDIOS was engaged to design the fourth academic building on the University of California’s newest campus in Merced. The three-story, 100,000 sf, interdisciplinary facility will provide instructional, office and research space to the School of Social Science, Humanities and Arts in three major areas of concentration-Social, Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, Business Management and Art.
Sited along the main campus thoroughfare, Scholars’ Way, and adjacent to Le Grand Canal, the building forms a link between the existing academic buildings and the future expansion of the campus to the east.
Faculty office and research spaces are organized around a double-height atrium with views of the canal and the nearby Sierra Mountains. Classrooms are housed on the ground floor; the art facilities also includes outdoor yards that take advantage of the open space around the canal as well as the adjacent multi-purpose pathway.
The building’s design and material palette responds to the Central Valley’s strong agrarian and industrial forms; the concrete exterior, deep overhangs, arcades, and sunscreens continue the precedent set by neighboring structures. Pre-formed metal siding complements both the adjacent Central Plant and the local architectural vernacular.