Client : University of California, Merced
The Science and Engineering 2 facility is part of the rapid growth of the newest UC campus. Sited at the northern edge of campus and overlooking the future “South Bowl” open-space, the S+E2 building is a prominent architectural feature of the University. The landscape design marries the building to the landscape and together with the structure provides transition between two site conditions- the urban texture of the academic buildings to the north and the naturalized open space along the canal edge and future “South Bowl”.
On the north side of the building, there is an informal plaza with teak benches and tables well suited to the rhythm of students comings and goings. An exterior breezeway connects the plaza to the south side of the building, terminating in an overlook with views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Small rooms defined by seat walls can be accessed through glass “garage doors” at the building edge. These rooms, the building’s exterior colonnade, and the overlook, create a dynamic and fluid space that accommodates both large flows of traffic and smaller gatherings. Within this framework, the activity of the building can spill out and manifest the great energy generated by the intersection of students and faculty and the overlap of academic and recreational terrain. These informal gathering spaces help support the campus vision of a continuous exchange of ideas and collaboration between academic disciplines.
This project is anticipating a LEED Platinum certification.