Text description provided by the architects. The Architecture Building Expansion is a reflection of the school’s curriculum and a working laboratory for sustainable practices. The south side of the site is occupied by a water conservation demonstration garden showcasing five different Arizona ecosystems, where students and the public can learn about water efficient irrigation and native plants. Water captured from the roof deck and condensate from the HVAC system filters into a 12,000 gallon holding tank used for the garden’s irrigation system, resulting in an 87% reduction in the use of potable water for the garden.
The architectural vocabulary of the building is based on exposed building systems. The use of exposed mechanical, structural and architectural systems becomes a teaching tool for the students who occupy this building. The use of glass, steel and concrete, as well as exposed utility systems, minimizes the quantity of materials, and the need for multiple layers of finishes resulting in a building assembly of naturally low VOC emitting materials.
The building is connected into the University’s Central Plant systems which efficiently generate the energy to serve the building’s heating, cooling and electrical needs. High performance HVAC and lighting systems integrated with state of the art digital controls work in unison with the building’s architectural elements to ensure maximum efficiency, flexibility and environmental comfort. HVAC system performance is further enhanced by continuously monitoring and dynamically utilizing seasonally available outdoor air heating and cooling energy.
The building’s window placement serves as a teaching tool and demonstrates the use of passive solar concepts. Maximum openings on the north, controlled openings on the south, and minimal east/west openings work to achieve natural lighting of spaces with minimal solar gain.
In addition to performing as a laboratory for exploring Sonoran Desert green roof strategies and photo-voltaic systems, the roof is an outdoor studio where student solar projects can be developed and demonstrated.
The building’s south exposure is protected with shade canopies and a green wall that allows vines to grow up for additional shading. Cooled by a high efficiency, indirect evaporative cooling system, the ground floor of the building is another student laboratory where architecture students can explore the capabilities of construction materials. By opening glass garage doors, this laboratory expands to include a sheltered exterior space.
After a nation-wide search for an architect, Jones Studio was selected in October 2001 by the Arizona Board of Regents to design the expansion to the existing School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona, in Tucson. The scope of work included a new 33,645 square foot, three-story addition connected to the existing building, and a 37,190 square foot remodel of the existing 35-year old red brick building. Project objectives include; 1) increasing student spaces, 2) increasing programs accessible from a central location, 3) creating an identifiable place to house community outreach programs, 4) addressing known space and building deficiencies, 5) being environmentally responsible.
A large part of the student’s training is “learning by doing”. The shop is 11,500 square feet and is made up of a series of “shop labs”. Included is a welding area; a metals area with shears, benders, 55-ton ironworker, sliproller, finger brakes, etc.; a wood lab; concrete lab; structures lab, digital fabrication lab, and various dust collecting systems for each lab.
The unification of the expanded CALA facilities with the existing CALA building is focused around a new central garden space. All college activities, functions and circulation paths will flow through this new outdoor learning space. The diagram exemplifies the spirit of collaboration that this multi-disciplinary school strives for. Everyone who enters the building will have the opportunity to interact with others - see and be seen. The concept of a front door becomes obsolete, as people approach and enter the building from many directions. This focus of “people energy” creates a new heart for CALA. It also plants a metaphorical seed for a culture based on collaboration, to grow from.