Santa Cruz, CA

This undergraduate residence hall complex is the hub for the 800 students of Colleges Nine and Ten and is one of the latest residential college additions to University of California at Santa Cruz. Making the best use of the landscape, College Nine is set among multi-trunk deciduous trees on the large, sunny knoll, while College Ten’s residences are tucked into a sloping heavily forested area next to a fern-filled sinkhole. In the words of Thomas Church, the landscape architect that was instrumental in the structuring of the campus “Instead of remaking the land, the land must remake our standard conceptions of building and plaza and parking lot.” We took that idea and built upon it. The University wanted to preserve the site characteristics, the forested hills and ravines, the sunny knolls and its rolling terrain. Each facility has been carefully configured on the site to maintain the inherent structure of the site. Each set of halls surround a landscaped plaza for gathering students. Winding sloped pathways sculpted into the College Ten plaza make the steep site more accessible. The plans of the residence halls are configured into two wings, creating circulating and congregating zones at the center, creating concentrated points of access surrounding the plaza areas. The buildings consist of four and five story halls that break down in scale at the ends, providing a more appropriate human scale.

(with EHDD architecture)