Chaparral Science Hall / Yazdani Studio

© Timothy Hursley

Architects: Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design
Location: Northridge, California,
Design Principal: Mehrdad Yazdani
Principal in Charge: Craig Hamilton
Project Manager: Martha Ball
Planning Principal: Tom Harvath
Senior Designers: Craig Booth + Philip Ra
Project Architects: Jessica Yi + Larry Taniguichi
QA/QC: Jim Peschl
FFE: Jack Poulin
Construction Administration: Curtis Bywater
Project Area: 90,000 sqf
Budget: $44,800,000
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

The building opened last fall and serves students from throughout the College of Science and Mathematics who have greater access to new and improved lecture halls on the first floor and computer labs throughout the building. The building is home to the Department of Biology’s office as well as much of the department’s offerings, including teaching and research activities. Chaparral Hall includes 18 research labs, nine introductory teaching labs and 13 lecture rooms in addition to a DNA sequencing lab and a microscopy suite. The building has two computer labs equipped with high-speed “hard wired” and wireless connections. The building also supports fiber optic data transmission required by high-bandwidth instruments like the new confocal and electron microscopes.

first floor plan
© Timothy Hursley

The complex encompasses a four story outdoor lobby and plaza and a three-level outdoor public staircase which facilitates circulation to the teaching labs located on the upper floors, serves to orientate visitors, and promotes social interaction.

© Timothy Hursley

A plaza facing the Botanical Gardens offers the students quiet space for study and reflection. A continuous outdoor covered walkway enables pedestrian circulation around the facility while visually connecting the Science Complex and the campus.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Chaparral Science Hall / Yazdani Studio" 05 Apr 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Architist

    Fantastic project. I love the space oriented by the stairs, beautifully organised.

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  • PatrickLBC

    Generally a nice project, but I really object to the metal guardrails. It looks like a giant cheese grater! Like it would shred your arm off if you come down the stairs too fast :)

  • blackstone

    it’s SO opaque– needlessly so, it seems. rather banal if you ask me.

  • jdcarling

    Did I read $45million for this correctly.

  • squidly

    No coherent diagram; messy organization; badly detailed; clumsy circulation. And banal.

    • Ulises

      function adapted to form, in a bad way

  • Vlad Stoica

    This just seems like a poor effort. I would advise anyone who wants to see the future of the science center to check out Will Alsop’s Blizard Building in Whitechapel, London. This one here is just a 70′s concept with a worse-looking facade.