California State University San Marcos, University Student Union

San Marcos, California

  • FIRM



    California State University San Marcos

  • AREA

    89,000 sq.ft.





Associated Firms: PCL Construction Services Inc. (Design/Builder); Martin-Vegue Design Studio+Padham Design (Interior Design); Land Lab (Landscape Architect); Simon & Associates, Inc. (Green Building Consultant); DCI Engineers (Structural Engineers); Flores Lund Consultants (Civil Engineers); McParlane and Associates (Mechanical
+ Plumbing); WEBB ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$382.00FEATURED IN2016 Architectural Portfolio (Food
Service); Propp + Guerin (Graphics & Signage); Shen Milsom Wilke (A/V Acoustical); Sysyka Hennessey Group (Vertical Transportation); Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (Waterproofing); The Preview Group, Inc (Code Consultant)

Design team
Mark Hornberger, FAIA (Design Principal); John C. Davis, AIA, NCARB (Principal-in-Charge); Eric
Gunther, AIA, CDT, LEED AP (Project Manager); Co Chau, AIA (Project Designer)

The primary goal for this project was to create “the campus living room; a dynamic center for campus activity outside the classroom.” It is intended to attract students, faculty, staff and visitors to extend their stay on campus. The building provides space for campus dining, student organizations, campus government and other outreach programs.
In shaping the building, the designers believed it was vital to conjoin major program spaces, giving them identity and a unique place in the Union and spatially connecting them. Connection to the building at both elevations was key to linking the upper academic campus to the lower residential campus. The solution necessitated a four-story building with efficiently organized stacked floors.
The West and East wings of the building cascade from one story at the Forum end to four stories at the Circle end and are connected at the lower level by the ballroom form. Paired pavilions at Upper Forum Plaza, angled to address each other, provide a welcoming entrance to the Union.
Building form, orientation to light, and the integrity/
economy of skin and glass are the backbone of the facil-
ity’s sustainability; this makes the goal of LEED Gold certification attainable with no premium cost.