Humanities Gateway at UC Irvine

Irvine, California, USA

As one of the elite LEED Platinum buildings in California, the Humanities Gateway represents the University’s vision for a “sense of unforeseen possibilities” expected from a place devoted to the study of ideas.

This Janus-faced building for the UCI School of Humanities and the Humanities Collective transitions between two academic sensibilities: one side looks to the campus more traditional, historical context and the other to a response rooted in creative expression.

The competition winning design’s free flowing, organic façade comprises an undulating, floor-to-ceiling glass and metal wall system that spans the building’s four levels. We devised a custom software program to generate the randomized pattern, where no panel aligns with another vertically. 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. Our close collaboration with the client to achieve an artistic and efficient solution strongly connects the indoor and outdoor spaces, contributing to a highly energy-efficient and sustainable operation and the building’s LEED Platinum performance.