This new ground up campus aims to create a unique and authentic identity for the growing Central Arizona College and to elevate its brand in the higher education marketplace while creating a highly sustainable prototype. Masterplanned for significant growth in the next twenty years, three buildings and a central plant represent an initial phase that will create a campus design language for future development to follow.
The three building campus is conceptually rooted in its historic agricultural roots and Native American legacy. Totaling over 76,000 GSF the diverse program includes teaching laboratories, classrooms, culinary arts, a café, bookstore, library, learning center, interactive distance learning classrooms, student services, administration, and a multipurpose community room. This community room bookends the main entry with the library, acting as a beacon for the greater community and promoting education.
Structures are conceived as a series of honest, spare and no maintenance 'academic sheds.' Deep overhangs let interior academic spaces flow outdoors seamlessly. Corten steel and rammed earth create the primary exterior language eliminating the need for long term maintenance. Unpainted structural steel and galvanized acoustical decking create the main interior volumes, while continuous north facing clerestory glazing harvests daylight, coupled with numerous large 'daylight scoops.'
Each building strategically turns its back to the harsh desert southern sun, while harvesting northern daylight and creating a continuous shaded arcade on the south that connects the campus' classrooms end to end. Thirty feet overhangs create shaded outdoor student spaces adjacent to a newly crafted amphitheater. Large outdoor fans create air movement to enhance personal comfort. R-30 walls and R-40 roofs create a super insulated high performance envelope. Rolling barn doors and minimal wall partitions organize interior volumes that are planned to be modular and easily removable when expansion and renovation occur in the future.