De Anza Mediated Learning Center in Cupertino, Calif.
De Anza Mediated Learning Center in Cupertino, Calif.

Emeryville, Calif.-based architectural, planning and interiors firm Ratcliff is designing two sustainable additions for the Foothill–De Anza Community College. One structure is a two-story, 65,000-square-foot Mediated Learning Center for the De Anza College campus in Cupertino, Calif., while the other is a 56,000-square-foot Physical Science village for Foothill College in Los Altos, Calif. The former is targeting LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council; the latter is designed to earn LEED Silver.

The Mediated Learning center will house distance learning, technology/media services, and staff development departments, and includes “smart” classrooms designed to delivery academic content through a variety of technology including video, online feeds, and live television feeds. In total, the building will house six 40-seat classrooms, two 50-seat classrooms, and two 100-seat classrooms, as well as a 50-seat classroom lab and a 25-seat exhibit lab designed for the anthropology department.

In terms of sustainability, the center uses a buoyancy natural air ventilation system, photovoltaics, solar thermal collectors, water-efficient fixtures, drought-tolerant landscaping, and recycled material content. The building incorporates raised floors to distribute air and power/data infrastructure while providing long-term flexibility, allowing the college to expand or contract classrooms as needed in the future.

Foothill Physical Sciences Village in Los Altos, Calif.
Ratcliff Foothill Physical Sciences Village in Los Altos, Calif.

In comparison, the Foothill Community College project comprises three separate buildings that will house the engineering, chemistry, physics, nanotechnology, and astronomy departments. A classroom building features six 40-seat classrooms, two 72-seat lecture rooms. A laboratory building houses four chemistry labs, two physics labs, and three multipurpose lab to be shared by the astronomy and engineering departments. The commons building houses a faculty conference room, student lounge, coffee shop, six breakout rooms, a student testing center, and 16 faculty offices. In between the buildings, an outdoor court and plaza offer outdoor seating.