University of California--Irvine, Vista Del Campo

Irvine, California

The target market of this project is undergraduate and unmarried graduate students who require on-campus housing. The planning promotes a village concept with minimal impact on neighbors. The economical concepts were important for the private financing structure. The site is a sweeping grade, characterized by its linear length.

The “Great Street” of this project ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMKTGY GroupCAPACITY1,488COST PER SQ FT$150.46FEATURED IN2004 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized the site’s length and links to all the areas via paseos and short connectors tied to the main campus. This street offers a wide internal pathway for bicycles and pedestrians, as well as a school shuttle, giving students three transportation choices. This also removes automobiles from the network. The shuttle stop turnaround underscores the building’s village center definition, which include a resident adviser’s office, pool, spa, courtyard, fireplace, barbeque area and other lifestyle amenities.

Surrounding this central area are clusters of small buildings that are situated to eliminate costly slope mitigation. The prairie and craftsman architecture responds to the compact pads, and avoids the typical institutional character, thereby strengthening village aesthetics. The apartment balconies and decks orient to Great Street, which promotes outdoor enjoyment and a sociable dynamic. The site segmentation separates graduate and undergraduate apartments into buildings with up to 16 units. One- to four-bedroom units offer kitchens and private bedrooms. Graduate students are provided with individual laundries. Undergraduates use common laundry facilities at the recreation centers. Each apartment is air conditioned and has heat supplied by a hydronic hot-water system from a common boiler at each building.

The perimeter parking spaces reduce the development’s visual impact on the adjacent neighborhood and provide acoustical shelter for the apartments within the community. The planning of the neighborhood also preserves the riparian area/stormwater arroyo in a natural, vegetated state.