Cal State Monterey Bay Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Building
The new home of CSU Monterey Bay’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS), this building brings together students, faculty, staff, and the broader campus community in a collaborative center at the heart of campus. Four academic departments (Cinematic Arts, Humanities, Social Science, World Languages) share interdisciplinary lecture and classroom spaces, a 200-seat screening room, and a new Dean’s Suite. On the second level, each department has a mix of faculty offices, specialized instructional spaces, and support space, arranged in clusters for ease of access between students and faculty. The departmental clusters are woven together by a series of shared spaces, in the form of conference, work rooms, and widened corridors with seating. These features create a collaborative zone throughout the building to spark moments of interdisciplinary synergy and dynamism.
Multiple passages through the ground floor lead to the central courtyard, and an interior “superhighway” connecting the building’s different programming and departments positions this building as a connective hub for campus. Stemming from this programmatic mixing and a desire to leverage the stunning natural surroundings of Monterey, the building literally wraps itself around a large outdoor space; a courtyard that will act as a new gathering and mixer space as well as an outdoor learning environment for CAHSS. A projection screen integrated with the courtyard façade allows the outdoor gathering space to be converted into an amphitheater for large, college-wide events.
The U-shaped “lasso” configuration of the footprint presents a strong identity along Divarty Street, with its porous, urban edge at the ground level, activated by a double-height lobby. The upper level is unified by a vertically grained façade, with zinc panels alternating with operable office windows in a syncopated rhythm. The new building will present a strong identity for Arts and Humanities for this growing campus.