In an effort to provide community education for Yuma, Ariz., Arizona Western College constructed a facility on a five-acre site bordered by an interstate. The building provides students and the business community with continuing-education opportunities.
The Career Center is situated for maximum exposure to the public, a “billboard” to the interstate, promoting COST PER SQ FT$114.00FEATURED IN2000 Architectural Portfolio to potential students. The massing is broken into three forms, each defining a major function—administration, classrooms or computer labs. The building shelters the courtyard from the noise of the interstate and the sun. Masonry walls, which reflect the color of the nearby Chocolate Mountains, provide protection from the harsh desert environment.
The expression of the building takes its clues from the historical Territorial Style of Yuma, utilizing mass, punched openings and courtyard spaces. A red stucco finish expresses the language instruction seminar room, where Spanish language and culture are taught. Galvalum screen walls, reflecting the abundance of agricultural buildings and recreational vehicles in the area, visually capture mechanical and electrical equipment and become sculptural foreground elements to the building.
Photographer: ©Bill Timmerman Photography