SCUP

 

Honor - Excellence in Architecture for a New Building

Harvey Mudd College

Scott A. McGregor Computer Science Center
Harvey Mudd College - Scott A. McGregor Computer Science Center
Jury Comments
“. . . striking, vibrant interiors and a modern but contextual approach to the exterior that is quite beautiful . . . planning process reflective of college’s self-governance process . . . good engagement with the Durell Stone/Church campus legacy . . .”

Highlights

    • Site – .72 acres; Building – 37,000 gsf / 23,000 asf
    • The center resides at the San Gabriel Mountain foothills.
    • The center meets two needs: space for the rapidly expanding computer science program and a vibrant area for project-based learning.
    • The building provides a first-time home for the Computer Science department, previously dispersed across campus.
    • A flexible solution to laboratory space needs is the design of three adjacent computer labs that flex as one space using an operable partition, eliminating the need for one additional lab.
    • The building contains over 30 spaces of varying sizes to accommodate study, collaboration, and meetings.
    • The courtyard acts as both a destination for student engagement and a threshold between the existing community and the heart of the campus.

Perspectives

The 38-acre Harvey Mudd College campus is steeped in architectural history, with the campus plan and buildings
designed by Edward Durell Stone and landscape design by Thomas Church. The project pays homage to the
existing architecture by not attempting to replicate the Durell Stone designs but by complementing them through
scale, verticality, and color, comfortably fitting into the existing campus. The McGregor Computer Science Center
is the second academic building to depart from Stone’s signature style, yet its design artfully “speaks” to the
older buildings. Clad in coated aluminum that reflects the light differently during the day, the building’s warm hue
complements the brown blocks of the legacy structures. Extensive exterior glass provides a sense of openness
and transparency, as well as a reflection of those older buildings.

The program includes teaching labs, clinics, departmental offices, and makerspace with zones for collaboration, co-working, and idea development, rapid prototyping, and light to medium fabrication. With an open-door faculty culture and pedagogy based on collaboration and exploration, every space is flexibly designed to modify over time.

As a small collegiate community, HMC embraces a shared governance process. Representatives from every department were involved in design, feedback, and decision-making, regardless of whether they were building users. Student involvement was integral, and the Board of Trustees and donors played a key role in project direction and overall building design. The outcome is a project that successfully responds to HMC’s six strategic plan themes: (1) Innovation, leadership, and impact in STEM; (2) Experiential and interdisciplinary learning; (3) Excellence and diversity; (4) Developing the whole person; (5) Contributions to society; and (6) Improvement of infrastructure and resources.

Project Team

Steinberg Hart

Kim Patten; Michael Miller; Monica D. Franklin; Sunny Palmer; Amanda Rienth; Alyson Kritz; Vikas Shrestha