Gone are the days of the boring old classroom.
Renovating their Science and Learning Center brought its facilities out of the 1960’s and right into 2017. Serving as their main academic building, nearly every student will set foot in this facility.
On a sunny day at any college, campuses spring to life as students walk to and from class. It can be hard to sit inside for hours, knowing a beautiful day is just outside the door. That feeling goes away as classrooms and hallways are filled with that beautiful California sun through floor to ceiling windows.
As a way to keep classrooms light and airy, these windows open the building to passing students, literally putting science on display. Taking a step even further classes designed on the top floor open up to balcony space, further blurring the line that classrooms were meant to only indoors.
The Science and Learning Center is MASSIVE! More than eighty percent of classes are taught here. It has twelve teaching labs, thirteen general classrooms, fourteen research laboratories, fourteen “collaboration zones”, and twenty six support spaces. Whittier College wanted this facility to follow in its mantra – Living and Learning in True Community. All spaces are for both students and faculty, encouraging interconnectivity between the two. A portion of this building also serves as the campus library.
When Whittier College approached Steinberg Architects they wanted to make sure they brought a “wow” factor to the building. The wow happened in the lobby with a spiral staircase, leading to the second floor to behold an oculus which was designed to look like a cell, the most basic building block to life. It is surrounded by a magnificent wooden pattern that seems to create waves that lead your eye to the staircase or to the beautiful view of the campus.
This campus hub is more than a place for class, study and collaboration, it is a place for community to grow.