Humanities Gateway at UC Irvine

Irvine, California, USA

The Humanities Gateway at UC Irvine is one of the elite LEED Platinum buildings in California.

For the Humanities Gateway at Irvine, the University wanted a building that represented part of their mission: to create a “sense of unforeseen possibilities.”  Fentress’ competition-winning design did just that with a free flowing, organic façade comprised of an undulating, floor-to-ceiling glass and metal wall system, which spans the building’s four levels.


The composition—of a Janus-faced building—is particularly appropriate given that the building houses UCI’s School of Humanities as well as the Humanities Collective.  This building represents two academic sensibilities: one is the traditional campus and its historical context, and the other is creative expression.

The design devised a custom software program in order to generate the randomized pattern. No panel aligns with another vertically. In fact, the unique and modern aesthetic belies the design’s success in redefining construction tolerances and increasing its use of modular elements. These factors resulted in direct savings of materials, cost, labor, and time.

building detail

USGBC Leed Platinium Certified

In close collaboration with the client, Fentress achieved an artistic and efficient solution for the Humanities Gateway at University of California, Irvine.  The design strongly connects indoor and outdoor spaces, contributing to a highly energy-efficient and sustainable operation, as well as the building’s LEED Platinum performance.