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De Anza Community College - Interdisciplinary Science Center

An impressive gateway

Los Altos Hills, California

The new science center consists of an interconnected three building complex, which is welcoming and comfortable while providing a state of the art facility. It houses biology and chemistry teaching labs, a 100 seat lecture hall, a science resource center, and faculty offices clustered around a courtyard. The courtyard provides an informal gathering space and doubles as an outdoor classroom.

The design intent was to reach out to students by putting science on display. We accomplished this by placing labs at the building edges and using extensive glazing to reveal the activities that are going on within. We also extended the campus pedestrian path through the complex, building upon and continuing the campus tradition of exterior circulation.

The design of the stunning new building is eye-catching, and we additionally took pains to make the new complex serve as a gateway to the campus. To do this, we brought the major campus pedestrian path from the southern parking lot, under the science center’s grand arch, and through the courtyard. The pathway route, along with the building’s design ensured that the multiple activities within the complex are visible and accessible to students.

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