Architectural award for SMC


Though currently under construction, the Student Services & Administration Building, a new energy-efficient bold masterpiece, has recently won a Next LA award from the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The award, which resides in the educational category, is given to un-built projects. The project, designed by Steinberg Architects in Los Angeles, accompanies various architectural awards given to Santa Monica College, which include the Quad, The Broad Stage (at the SMC Performing Arts Center), Humanities & Social Science Building, Theater Arts Building, the library expansion and modernization, and the Science Complex.

The new Student Services & Administration Building started construction in January of 2009 and is scheduled for completion in February 2014. A very eco-friendly building, it will feature a continuous shell structure with solar panels and operable windows and skylights. Designed to be energy efficient, the project has a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification.

Funding for the building came from Measure U, a bond approved by the city of Santa Monica-Malibu in 2004, and totals $53.5 million. It will consist of an entry plaza, landscaping, and even a transit bus pullout. In addition, a 500-space underground parking garage is also in the works.

The building's main purpose will be to correlate more than 30 student services into one. For example, if one student is part of the program EOPS as well as the Scholars Program, which are both located at opposite ends of the campus, it will make it much easier for the student to have both of these services in the same building.

This new addition to the campus, however, has faced problems. According to a press release regarding the Student Services building, representatives from Steinberg Architects said that "the project faced two challenges: co-locate more than 30 student services-related departments and administrative offices, and create an iconic design that will announce the college to the public."

A Steinberg representative said that, "the final design creates a place of welcome for new students and symbolizes open access to education."

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