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Introduction College of the Canyons is a rapidly growing regional community college located in Santa Clarita, California. PBWS Architects was commissioned to design a new Learning Center for the campus, including an expansion to the College library. The 50,000 square foot addition more than doubles the space available to students for reading, studying, tutoring, and computing. Through a collaborative process that involved stakeholders from several different academic and support service departments, the design team created a simple layout of optimal efficiency. The exterior of the addition is articulated through careful selection of materials and a color palette utilized throughout the campus. The resulting design addresses the campus context and creates a composition that is uniquely suited for College of the Canyons.


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Existing Library Main Entry Learning Lab Tutoring Lab Study Room Seminar Room Server Room Staff Lounge Mechanical Room Reading Room Group Study Room Cataloguing Room Office Storage Room Roof


Campus The project site was characterized by an irregular shape and conflicting geometries of the existing library and vehicular circulation. These challenges were resolved through a design that respects the existing library and acknowledges the vehicular grid while avoiding impractically shaped spaces. The building is anchored by masses that are similar to the existing library. These masses are then connected by ribbons of metal that shade the glass beneath their deep eaves. The harsh sun and extreme heat of the Santa Clarita Valley are further mitigated by highly insulated walls, reflective white roofs, perforated screens, and insulated fiberglass panels. The curved south-facing faรงade on the second story transitions to a low roof punctuated by a series of cylindrical skylights. Exterior storefront glazing and skylights provide ample natural daylight and views to exterior landscaped areas. The orientation, massing, and exterior skin integrate the Library and Learning Center within the larger campus environment.


Visibility The Learning Center is one of the most highly utilized buildings on campus. A large number of students pass in front of the building on their way from the parking area to the campus core. A perforated screen “cube� defines the entry to the Learning Center, creating a campus landmark. It serves as an illuminated beacon at night and shades the entry court during the day. The design creates transparency that allows students, faculty and community members to observe the inquiry and education that is taking place inside, an approach that is supported by current research in educational design. Floor to ceiling storefront glazing on the exterior and interior provide views into every learning space. The central Learning Lab is surrounded by smaller tutoring rooms and group study rooms and allows visual access to the activity in each space.


Learning Environment Special attention has been given to the quality of the learning environment created at the building interior. Material selections and use of appropriate finishes provide a warm and comfortable environment in which to learn. The aluminum and glass storefront system is balanced through the use of warm cherry wood on cabinets and acoustical ceilings. Granite counters and flooring at the entry provide an added natural element to this highly technological environment. Highly absorptive acoustic ceilings, insulated glass, and carpeting allow exceptional speech intelligibility within the larger spaces. The building is equipped throughout with current learning and instructional technology and incorporates infrastructure that will allow the facility to adapt to changes in technology over time. This expansion permits the College to meet the needs of the growing student body now and into the future. The meaningful collaboration between PBWS and the College of the Canyons allowed the team to create a highly successful facility that expands the space available for student services in a way that is sensitive to the campus context and enhances the educational mission of the College.


College of the Canyons Library Addition Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees Bruce D. Fortine, Michele R. Jenkins, Joan W. MacGregor, Michael Berger, and Scott Wilk Administration Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook, Chancellor/President Joe Gerda, (Interim) Assistant Superintendent/Vice President, Instruction Sharlene Coleal, Assistant Superintendent/Vice President, Business Services James Schrage, Assistant Superintendent/Vice President, Facilities Planning, Operations & Construction

James Glapa-Grossklag, Dean, Distance Learning Program / Training Leslie Bretall, Librarian, Public Services Mojdeh Mahn, Director, LRC Measure “C” Citizens Oversight Committee Alan DiFatta, Michael P. Hogan, John D. Hoskinson, Sara Vogler, Calvin “Cal” Hedman, Kevin D. Holmes, and Barbara S. Cochran PBWS Architects Barton Anderson, Principal-In-Charge Wade Frazier, Director of Architecture Kirstyn Bonneau, Project Manager Klassen Construction Management Tim Phillips, Project Director James Williamson, Project Superintendent Michelle Osborn, Project Manager


Michael Urbanek, Photographer Architecturalshots.com

Š 2012 PBWS Architects 234 E. Colorado Boulevard, Suite 700, Pasadena, California 91101 www.pbws.com

College of the Canyons, Library Addition  

College of the Canyons is a rapidly-growing regional community college located in Santa Clarita, California. PBWS Architects was commissione...