SEATTLE, Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- LMN Architects—a multidisciplinary design firm with a reputation for community-focused projects of all scales—and California-based builder Hathaway Dinwiddie announce their selection for the $46 million Classroom and Office Building project at the University of California, Irvine. The 70,000-square-foot building will serve the full range of active-learning pedagogy and underlying academic tenets of the university: exploring, discovering, advancing theories, testing ideas and collaborating. The project marks a continuation of this team's successful design-build collaboration, which also includes the addition to the Paul Merage School of Business and the recently completed Department of Continuing Education Classroom Building, both of which are on the UCI campus.
"It's all about social performance. The interactive functionality of the active-learning classrooms extends to a sequence of community spaces—interior and exterior—providing students with lots of choices for group work and social connection," said George Shaw, FAIA, Partner-in-Charge of the project for LMN Architects. Set in the heart of the 1,500-acre Irvine campus, the design promotes a diversity of team-based modes of learning and social interaction, while extending the active-learning experience to the surrounding Aldrich Park campus neighborhood. The project is composed of three primary elements: a two-story elliptically shaped pavilion housing lecture halls; a three-story classroom wing framed with a continuous student mixing hall; and the bridge, a central vertical circulation and gathering space that connects the functions of the two primary structures. "UC Irvine was one of the first U.S. campuses to institute design-build delivery, and over several decades they have developed one of the most sophisticated and well-defined design-build processes in the industry," said Rashmi Mehta, Senior Vice President, Hathaway Dinwiddie. "Based on best design and best value, UCI's system provides a unique opportunity for flexibility and creativity in the design process, which has resulted in high-quality yet cost-effective, sustainable architecture on their campus." The building features two floors of day-lit classrooms and circulation areas (the mixing hall), and a third level that houses student offices and computer labs. Natural light filters through the exterior sunshade latticework to the mixing zone's circulation and collaboration spaces. Accessed from large campus plazas on two sides, a series of community spaces capture expansive views of Aldrich Park and the broader campus landscape, creating an interconnected indoor-outdoor student experience.