Posts tagged with "UC Santa Barbara":

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MRY restores Charles Moore’s PoMo gem at UC Santa Barbara

When the Moore, Lyndon, Turnbull, and Whitaker Architects-designed University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Faculty Club opened in 1968, architectural historian and critic David Gebhard wrote in Forum that the complex was “theatrical (like Hollywood) and planned, even though on the surface everything appears haphazard and disjoined.” The compliment applies in opposite to the recently-completed $11.25 million renovation, restoration, and expansion to the complex by Charles Moore’s successor firm Moore Ruble Yudell (MRY), where a series of rationally-organized dining facilities, hotel accommodations, and administrative offices conceal nuanced and rich architectural detail. The complex was originally designed as an homage to the era’s Pop Architecture phenomenon that blended Spanish Colonial Revival stylings with a 1960s penchant for dumb shacks and postwar vernacular modernism. Though from the outside, the building originally appeared as a stuccoed mass of disjointed shapes, Moore and Turnbull’s original vision was decked out inside with soaring framed archways, criss-crossing mezzanine walks and stairways, and neon signs and symbols decorating its walls. The project’s showpiece, a central, multi-story dining room, contained all of these elements and more, including deep-cut architectural references to other famous works—like a sloped entry reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s Carpenter Center at Harvard—that were amplified and repurposed throughout the UCSB Lagoon-adjacent complex.  Today, the expanded club boasts a wholly new 15,760-square-foot wing hosting 34 guest rooms wrapped by perimeter circulation, as well as a renovated and restored central dining hall and a bevy of new sustainability features. Overall, the building has more than doubled in size from 14,595 square feet to over 30,000 square feet today, an effort that has overtaken but not necessarily overshadowed the existing PoMo gem. MRY has taken a gradient-driven approach to the project by restoring the easternmost two-thirds of the original building while also adaptively reusing the remainder of the existing complex and adding the new wing on the building’s west side.  The upgraded dining room—dialed down in terms of its furnishings and place settings from the 1960s version, as one might imagine—is more spare than before. Gone are the expanses of wall-to-wall red carpeting, Mid-Century Modern-styled dining chairs, and glass-topped dining tables and their frilly, folded napkin arrangements, which have been replaced with more paired-down and contemporary elements.  Many other aspects of the existing building have been retrofitted for contemporary times as well, including the building’s windows, which have been replaced with energy-efficient panes. The complex boasts passive design features that facilitte matural ventilation throughout. Added too are new sensitive lighting designs that allow for task-level lighting control in the hotel rooms, as well as new ambient lighting in the dining areas that compliments the large glass light fixtures already inhabiting the space.  Perhaps the most unique elements of the complex come in at ceiling height, where many areas feature drop-down roof rafters that evoke the vigas of the Spanish Revival as well as the slap-dash 2x10 ceiling joists of the Mid-Century vernacular, as well.  These elements are complemented in the hotel rooms and in the building’s many shared areas by peculiar ceiling geometries that result from the building’s heaped architectural forms. Everywhere rooms and entire wings explode askew to the structural grid, with massive octagonal arches doing the work of keeping the building standing, as sloping ceilings, pop-out window walls, skylights, and transom openings combine to create delightful ceiling geometries.  Overall, the architects have proven that it is possible to respect and embrace history—even what might be considered by some today as an over-wrought PoMo relic—while also building for the future.  In Santa Barbara, PoMo isn’t “back,” and it’s certainly not dead—It’s been here and will continue to remain. 
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Peek inside under-construction UC Santa Barbara housing by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

Construction on Los Angeles–based Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects’ (LOHA) 95,000-square-foot San Joaquin Housing projects at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is nearing completion.

The firm is designing two of four housing clusters on the 15-acre North Campus, one of the areas where the 20,000-student university is concentrating construction efforts as it aims to increase its student population by up to 5,000 new students over the next nine years. The San Joaquin Housing area is to contain housing for 1,000 of those new residents.

LOHA’s schemes are manifested as a pair of two- to three-story clustered apartment blocks joined by external circulation and communal spaces. The structures themselves are organized in shifting geometries, with rhomboid volumes projecting over, into, and from an activated courtyard. Walkways are made up of articulated armatures that attach to the buildings’ facades and project into the courtyard. The courtyard’s exterior-facing walls feature punched openings and are marked by white siding, while dark surfaces line the courtyard’s interior. Though the overall project aims for a certain kind of scalar contextuality, this organizational scheme is decidedly daring: Social hubs, such as reading rooms, dining areas, and other gathering spots are distributed along these pedestrian routes, with some of these volumes elevated one or two stories above grade. Construction photographs show a staccato filigree of painted steel supports framing out the walkways between plywood- and Tyvek-wrapped buildings.

The San Joaquin Housing complex, abutting the northern edge of the adjacent, unincorporated community of Isla Vista west of UCSB, is being developed as part of a multi-architect housing expansion for the university master planned by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM). LOHA’s two adjacent complexes will be joined by two low-rise apartment blocks from L.A.’s Kevin Daly Architects (KDA) and two housing towers by SOM. Philadelphia-based architects Kieran Timberlake will also be designing a dining facility in the complex. 

New construction is the result of the campus’s 2010 “Long Range Development Plan” (LRDP), set in motion to plan for the campus’s growth in its ecologically sensitive, largely suburban coastal community. The university’s growth rate dictated in that document, one percent per annum, is designed to mirror that of the neighboring city of Santa Barbara. Perhaps California’s state and local agencies should take note of this latest housing construction: It seems someone has finally figured out how to build housing to meet the community’s needs in a timely fashion without offending the neighbors too much.

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On View> UC Santa Barbara displays Barton Myers’s works of architecture and urbanism

Barton Myers: Works of Architecture and Urbanism Art, Design & Architecture Museum UC Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA September 12 to December 12 Barton Myers: Works of Architecture and Urbanism is coming to the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara this September. The exhibition will display several of Myers’ projects from 1968 to 2002: a span of nearly 35 years. A variety of artifacts will be on display, ranging from sketches and scale models to the architect’s lectures and writings. Myers donated the materials on display to the Art, Design & Architecture museum in 2000. Among them is information and renderings of his most renowned built work, such as the Vidal Sassoon Salon (1968), as well as his more obscure work. The exhibition will display Myers’ work in the 1992 U.S. Expo Pavilion in Spain as well as his famous steel houses.