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Award of Merit, Higher Education: Foothill College Physical Sciences and Engineering Center

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Foothill College Physical Sciences and Engineering Center (PSEC), Los Altos Hills

Photo by David Wakely
The building is organized around a traditional courtyard with three uniquely finished pavilions.
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This 7.3-acre project, which expands an architecturally significant campus built in 1961, incorporates campus vernacular design while introducing new materials, forms and contemporary technologies. The new building is organized around a traditional courtyard with three uniquely finished pavilions: a single-story commons to the east, a one-story classroom building to the north and a two-story laboratory building to the south. In addition to the demands of working on an operating campus, the project team discovered underground water and unsuitable soil, requiring prompt overexcavating before new utilities could be placed in a concrete slurry.

Key Players

Contractor Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Co., Santa Clara

Owner Foothill College, Los Altos Hills

Lead Design Ratcliff, Emeryville

Structural Engineer Forell/Elsesser Engineers, San Francisco

Civil Engineer CSW/ST2 Civil Engineering, Novato

MEP Engineer Gayner Engineers, San Francisco

Landscape Architect Meyer + Silberberg Landscape Architects, Berkeley


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