When it was discovered that a seismic fault line diagonally bisected this 100-year-old campus in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, earthquake risk necessitated the demolition of five existing buildings.
The project includes a new campus master plan and the design, repositioning and construction of five new buildings that meet FEMA’s earthquake hazards reduction requirements: the library, campus center, administrative/student services building, health and life science building, and art center and gallery. A new pedestrian and parking infrastructure will accommodate future growth and help create a special sense of place.
Modern buildings fitted with the latest bracing technologies from Japan have replaced the demolished traditional tile-roofed Mediterranean structures. The new buildings and a tree-lined pedestrian walkway align themselves with the diagonal fault line rather than the existing grid, which follows the streets.
The overriding design principle is inspired by the earth’s seismic force: all public spaces (for example, the library’s main reading room) have undulating metal roofs, clad in metal and glass curtain wall, that suggest the movement of tectonic plates; their lateral bracing systems are expressed.
Adjacent support spaces are simple stucco boxes with deep recessed windows. Internal courtyards are key throughout, as roofs extend in triangulated overhangs. At the main entrances the roofs dip one corner to the ground, creating shaded areas for gathering.