Cal Maritime Academic A and Library/Learning Commons Feasibility Study

The new Academic A Building (ACAD A) at the California State University Maritime (CSUM) campus will be a dramatic step in the implementation of the 2016 CSUM Campus Master Plan. As the first new, ground-up academic building, it will set the stage for other works of architecture to come.

The four-story building will be the tallest structure on campus and occupy a central location in the academic core. Conceived as a mixed-use “vessel” that contains vital academic programs, ACAD A fronts onto the future main quad, and brings a distinctive architectural identity for the new Library/Learning Commons, State-of-the-art Classrooms, Welcome Center, Student Services, and Faculty Offices. The façades of the new building posit a grand, yet welcoming, presence for students, faculty and visitors coming to the heart of the campus. There they will find a state-of-the-art facility designed to elevate their collegiate experience. ACAD A will house not only the Library/Learning Commons, but also the perfect place to study, to collaborate with each other, to learn, to teach, work and/or simply to discover what the campus has to offer.

The design of the building unfolds around a main spine, or “concourse,” that connects the main lobby/reception area to the Library/Learning Commons, Classrooms, and other program areas on multiple levels. The Library/Learning Commons includes a variety of study, research, and collaboration spaces. Library users will have open access to more than 58,000 materials along with contemporary seating and spaces for project-based research and presentation practice.

The building’s form and material palette blends subtle nautical references—starting with its ship-like massing and semi-industrial tectonic—with more overt ties to traditional buildings vis-a-vis boardform concrete, GFRC panels, and/or brick cladding. The building’s distinctive white metal siding defines the “vessel” volume, floating above the concrete base. The building’s long massing is counter-balanced by the glass-encased “concourse” on the South-side. This element features a ground-level arcade, grand stairs on each end, and articulated louvers that control solar heat gain and draw the eye horizontally across the main axis of campus. Wrapping around the Northeast corner, the two-story GFRC-clad (or brick) Library/Learning Commons provides a grounded, vertically-oriented counterpoint to the predominantly horizontal building. The Library massing anchors the “vessel” on the main quad, and features expansive north-facing windows for contemplative study overlooking the gardens. Hardwood elements add a touch of warmth and natural beauty at special features such as the handrails, wood soffits, and feature-walls at the interior.

ACAD A showcases high-performance aspects of sustainable design. The building is planned to achieve LEED Gold at a minimum, and examines practices through add alternates to reach LEED Platinum and Net Zero, to align with campus goals. For example, its cantilevered roof provides shade to outdoor areas controlling solar heat gain. The extended roof also allows ample space for photovoltaic panels that will offset a significant portion of the facility’s electrical loads. The green roof areas also play a role in the campus’ stormwater treatment by pre-treating runoff and capturing rainwater and delivering it to planted areas around the perimeter of the building. The combination of operable clerestory windows, external shading (brie-soleil), and high-performance glazing provide natural ventilation, solar control and reduce glare. Thermally-massive brick and/or concrete walls further contribute to a significant reduction in the building’s heat gain and cooling load. Other important features include a high performance, multi-zoned HVAC system, and high-efficiency LED lighting.

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