University of California—Riverside, Library for the Sciences

Riverside, California

The campus of the University of California at Riverside has been developed as a edenic “garden,” with buildings integrated into the landscape, rather than following the Eastern model of buildings defining quadrangles.

In the last 10 years of rapid growth, the strategy has changed—pedestrian entrances are given formal architectural identity with trellis, sunscreen and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMEhrlich-Rominger, Architect-of-RecordCOST PER SQ FT$153.00FEATURED IN2000 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers elements designed to provide shelter from sun and weather. Layers of texture are added to animate and give scale to the building facades, as well as a clear expression of regionalism and history.

The new 150,000-square-foot Library for the Sciences reinforces this pastoral attitude toward campus development, achieving a prominent identity of its own, and working in concert with its surroundings. The building created a formal forecourt to its southern entry pavilion that ties existing academic campus circulation to the major residential area to the east. The building takes advantage of its sloped landscape—lowering its apparent scale to the users of the courtyard with the main entrance being on the second level, as well as the modeling of its mass to integrate with contours and road alignments.

Beginning on the entry level, an atrium lighted by a clerestory creates a strong focus and orienting device for the building’s floor plates. In addition to providing natural light, the atrium contains an information desk, and space for exhibitions and socializing. The curved reading space at all levels takes advantage of the views of the arroyo to the north and east, as well as the Box Springs Mountains beyond.

Photographer: ©John Edward Linden