CSU San Bernardino Center for Global Innovation

San Bernardino, California

LEED Platinum center creates a new ‘global gallery’ for university

The California State University (CSU), San Bernardino Center for Global Innovation is a LEED Platinum, three-story building that responds to a unique site and integrates a meaningful social experience with academics on campus, creating a “global gallery” for the university’s large international student population.

The university sits at the base of the San Bernardino mountains, in a blustery, hot climate near a seismic fault. The Center for Global Innovation (CGI), which is situated in the heart of the campus, houses classrooms and administration offices for the College of Extended Learning. The university wanted the new facility to address this juxtaposition of natural elements, while providing a home for students on campus and supporting the school’s mission to promote lifelong learning.

The building form responds to climatic conditions and seeks to make the environment a part of the CGI experience. By shifting and folding floor plates, the design incorporates a variety of indoor and outdoor social and learning spaces that are shaded and protected from the elements, including a rooftop terrace. The building’s exterior is wrapped in a pleated metal panel system, a modern reinterpretation of the fluted concrete found on campus. Further articulation takes cues from existing surrounding buildings, allowing CGI to reinforce the idea of “campus-building.”

Using inspiration from a typical town square, the lobby is conceptualized as a gathering space for students and provides a guide for the arrangement of the programmatic elements in the building. The space acts as a home base for students, with digital screens, writable surfaces and flexible furniture. Classroom spaces are located on the lower floors for easy wayfinding and campus access, while student services become a destination on the top floor. A series of decks on each floor provide spaces for students to socialize or study in groups. With views of Coyote Walk, the main pedestrian campus thoroughfare, the gallery creates an opportunity for students to connect with their university environment, on social, educational and cultural levels.

The building was designed through an integrated approach, involving all relevant disciplines from the start of the process, which provided tangible benefits in the final design. Enhanced structural components were incorporated to address the proximity to California’s San Andreas fault. Self-shading overhangs, access to natural daylight and an Energy Star cool roof help reduce energy consumption, while a 160kw photovoltaic array offsets 50 percent of the building’s energy use.

The completed project met the AIA 2030 commitment with an EUI of 29.2; a 76% reduction from the baseline. One hundred percent of stormwater is collected and polished via bioswales. The project received two Jury Best of Show awards from local chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

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