CSU Northridge Extended University Center

Northridge, California

An energy-efficient blend of office and academic space

The LEED NC Gold Extended University Commons for the Tseng College of Extended Learning is a three-story, 68,000-square-foot building that includes both academic and workplace environments. The facility accommodates flexible classrooms to accommodate their rapidly growing programs and supports workspace for administrative and student services. With programs and services fragmented throughout the campus, the goal was to create a centralized and iconic destination that would better serve mid-career learners, international and general students.

The design embraced the regional setting and celebrated “campus building.” A key element of the campus master plan and programmatic goal was to provide more useful and friendly outdoor spaces in the southern California environment. To support this, the solution takes every opportunity to develop plazas, forecourts, and courtyards. The indoor-outdoor spaces formed by the building’s courtyard design take full advantage of breezes, shade and shadow where students, faculty and staff can gather.

The dramatic overhangs and protected courtyards created by the elegant glass box sitting lightly on top of the brick base of the building, provide inviting social settings, both inside and outside. The first floor enclosure embraces the campus brick vernacular, becoming the base for the building design while the second and third floors offer transparency through a high-performance unitized glazing system. Sun shades float in front of the glass by 12 feet, around all sides of the building, protecting the glass from heat gain, in conjunction with the glazing system.

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